Firefighters of northeast wisconsin
Local business owners tired of constantly putting out fires seek help from our experts
Tools of attraction Government
Small business mentoring Entrepreneurship
April 2011 $3.95
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new north b2b APRIL 2011
20 COVER STORY ❘ Firefighters of NE Wisconsin ❘ Local business owners seek help from experts to put out fires
24 GOVERNMENT ❘ Tools of attraction ❘ A host of incentives to retain and recruit businesses into the region
28 ENTREPRENEURSHIP ❘ Mentoring for small business ❘ Help for entrepreneurs when they need it
32 SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE ❘ Fox Valley Hearing Loop ❘ Delivering the gift of sound
4 From the Publisher 5, 36 Professionally Speaking 6 Since We Last Met 11 Corporate Earnings 12 Build Up Pages 18 Around the Boardroom 19 Pierce Stronglove 38 Who’s News 44 Business Calendar 45 Advertiser Index 46 Key Statistics
On our Cover image illustration by Kate Erbach of New North B2B.
NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011 l 3
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Wellness champions tell their story
Our 6th Annual Alla tua Salute! awards tell many tales of employees improving their health, keeping insurance increases at bay
Sean Fitzgerald New North B2B Publisher 4 l NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011
While hardly still a part of every employer’s benefit package, awareness of employee wellness programs has increased dramatically in the past few years. For the past five of those years, New North B2B has celebrated the best practices and outstanding results of employers from the region who’ve gone out of their way to tailor wellness programs that have truly improved the health of their workforce, made lesser use of their employer-sponsored health plan, and ultimately held down insurance premium increases. For those unfamiliar with the state’s longest running corporate wellness awards, Alla tua Salute! (think of Tony Soprano hoisting a long-stemmed glass of apple juice to toast a nephew’s high school graduation) enters its sixth year in our May 2011 edition of B2B. From the Italian phrase meaning “to your health,” Alla tua Salute! recognizes the creative, the bold and the dedicated workforces across the region who’ve set out to improve the health of employees, and either achieved success or are well on their way. Here’s a few of the success stories we’ve shared during the past half decade. v Miles Kimball Company of Oshkosh, a 4-time honoree of our annual wellness recognition, increased the low risk population of its workforce from 23 to 72 percent from 2000 to 2010. At the same time, the catalog and Internet retailer decreased its medium risk population from 58 to 25 percent and reduced its high risk population from 18 down to just 3 percent. Annual health risk assessments are mandatory for any employee on the company’s group health insurance plan, as it is for any spouse of an employee covered under Miles Kimball’s health plan. v After discovering that stress and depression ranked as a leading health risk factor among those employees who participated in the annual health risk assessment at paper manufacturer Appleton Inc., the company’s human resource department launched an initiative to heavily promote its employee assistance program, which only had 5 percent utilization among employees in 2008. In 2009, EAP use at Appleton Inc. climbed to 11 percent, with a particular increase in use among salaried office employees, and that same year stress and depression no
longer ranked as leading risk factors. v J.J. Keller in Neenah boasts the oldest Weight Watchers at Work program in Wisconsin, launching the diet and weight management program at its offices 16 years ago and paying 25 percent of the program cost for employees. v Independent Printing Co. in De Pere introduced a tobacco surcharge for those employees on its group health insurance plan who smoke cigarettes. v Short-term disability claims at Miller Electric Manufacturing in Appleton were down 35 percent from 2008 to 2009 and down 33 percent from 2009 to 2010, in spite of an increase in the average age of its workforce during that period. v After HRA results indicated low seatbelt use among employees of Sadoff & Rudoy Industries in 2007, the Fond du Lacbased metal recycler launched an initiative to raise awareness with random surprise checkpoints when employees pulled into the parking lot at the beginning of their shift. The result: seatbelt use increased from less than 50 percent to more than 62 percent the following year. v Faith Technologies in Menasha makes oatmeal available to employees at no cost in all of its break rooms and lunch rooms. v And lastly, Oshkosh-based promotional product marketer 4imprint has placed hand sanitizer and bottles of vitamin C capsules at each entrance to the building for visitors and employees for the past six years. It’s a trend that’s since been replicated at businesses across the area. I hope these examples were enough of a preview to tempt you to tune in for our May issue cover story. And if you think your company has what it takes to compete as offering one of the top corporate wellness programs in northeast Wisconsin, there’s still time to be considered. Nominations will be accepted through April 10, and recognitions will be presented in several categories based on number of employees, as well as an award for firms just getting started on the path to their wellness journey. For more information or for a basic registration form, go online to our Web site at www.newnorthb2b.com and click on the Alla tua Salute! tab.
Proposed changes to Wisconsin FMLA (part 1) by Davis & Kuelthau, s.c.
If you have a particular labor/employment law question, please forward your question to Mr. Renning at info@ newnorthb2b.com. If he responds to your email in a future issue, your name and company will be withheld to preserve your privacy.
Reader Question: What is the status of the efforts to conform the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (WFMLA) to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)? Tony Renning: Senate Bill 8 proposes to make various changes to WFMLA to conform that law to the FMLA. On Jan. 21, 2011, the Bill was referred to the committee on Labor, Public Safety and Urban Affairs. The Bill requires that an employer subject to the WFMLA permit an employee who has worked at least 1,250 hours (1,000 hours under current law) for that employer during the preceding 12-months to take 12 weeks (6 weeks under current law) of family or medical leave in a 12-month period. Additionally, the Bill eliminates the requirement as to when family leave for the birth or adoptive placement of a child must begin and instead requires family leave to end within 12 months after the
Publisher & President
Cheryl Hentz Lee Marie Reinsch
Chief Financial Officer
Vicky Fitzgerald, CPA
birth or adoptive placement of a child. An employee may currently take family leave as partial absence from employment, but must schedule that leave so that it does not unduly disrupt the employer’s operations. The Bill permits an employee to take family leave intermittently or on a reduced-leave schedule for the birth or adoptive placement of a child only if agreed to by the employer. The Bill also permits an employee to take family or medical leave intermittently or on a reduced-leave schedule when medically necessary due to a serious health condition of the employee or of a child, spouse, domestic partner, parent or spouse’s parent. Finally, under current law, an employee is not entitled to pay while on family or medical leave, but may substitute paid or unpaid leave of other types provided by the employer. The Bill specifies that an employee may elect, or an employer may require the employee, to substitute
NEW NORTH B2B is published monthly by WINNEBAGO B2B LLC for $20 per year or $3.95 for a single issue. A single complimentary subscription is offered to all members of the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce, Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce. Printed by Digicorporation, 120 Lake St., Neenah, WI 54956 POSTMASTER: send address changes to: WINNEBAGO B2B LLC 923 S. Main St., Oshkosh, WI 54902. Bulk-rate postage paid at Oshkosh, WI. Reproduction of any contents of NEW NORTH B2B without express written permission of its publishers is strictly forbidden. The appearance of any advertisement or product information does not constitute endorsement of any product or service by WINNEBAGO B2B LLC. Copyright 2011.
Contact us: P.O. Box 559, Oshkosh, WI 54903-0559 • 920.237.0254 www.newnorthb2b.com
leave of other types for family or medical leave (e.g., paid vacation for family leave for the birth or adoptive placement of a child). For updates as to the status of the WFMLA as well as advice and counsel as to the various provisions thereof, contact Tony Renning at (920) 232-4842 or firstname.lastname@example.org or any other member of the Davis & Kuelthau Labor and Employment Team. Tony Renning is an attorney in the Oshkosh office of Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. (219 Washington Avenue). Mr. Renning provides counsel to private and public sector employers on a wide variety of labor and employment law matters. This article is intended to provide information only, not legal advice. For advice regarding a particular employment situation, please contact a member of the Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. Labor and Employment Team.
Fond du Lac NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011 l 5
SINCE WE LAST MET
Since we last met Since We Last Met is a digest of business related news occurring in the Green Bay, Fox Cities, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac areas in the one month since the previous issue of New North B2B.
February 21 Oshkosh Area School District Superintendent Don Viegut presented the board of education with a $66 million package of capital improvements and operating expense increases the district could bring to referendum later this year. The package includes a request to exceed state-imposed spending limits by $4 to $6 million in each of the next five years, as well as separate initiatives to build new northside and southside elementary schools, take care of a variety of deferred maintenance projects at district facilities, and install new technology. Viegut set an October timeline for a possible referendum.
2004 April 15 – The state of Wisconsin enacted its long-anticipated venture capital law which provides $65 million of tax credits over the next decade to encourage investors to invest money, time and expertise in new Wisconsin companies.
2007 April 18 – A report issued by the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative planning effort, which includes Wisconsin and eight other midwestern states, indicated a proposed passenger rail service could generate between $3.5 billion and $4.6 billion in user benefits to Wisconsin from time savings, congestion relief and emission reductions during its first 40 years.
2010 April 20 – Gov. Jim Doyle announced the state will invest $1.75 million for a sustainable manufacturing pilot program which will engage 50 small to mid-size manufacturers to use sustainable practices to save money and gain a competitive edge.
6 l NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011
February 22 Members of the United Steelworkers Local 2-169 at Hoffmaster Group Inc. in Oshkosh rejected the company’s final contract offer last week, which authorized the possibility of a strike, though the nearly 400-member union hoped to continue negotiations with company officials. The union and the company have operated without a contract since last August. Both sides are at odds regarding potential changes in work schedules and the amount the company contributes toward health care insurance premiums. February 22 The Wisconsin Department of Commerce reported exports from the state increased more than 18 percent in 2010 to $19.78 billion, ranking Wisconsin 18th among all states. The state’s top five export markets in 2010 were: 1) Canada, which grew nearly 25 percent to $6.04 billion; 2) Mexico, which increased nearly 27 percent to $2.00 billion; 3) exports to China increased 21 percent to $1.33 billion; 4) Germany, with $745 million; and 5) Japan, with $731 million. Wisconsin’s top five manufacturing export commodities in 2010 were: 1) industrial machinery, which grew by 13 percent to $6.3 billion; 2) electrical machinery, at $2.3 billion; 3) medical and scientific instruments increased by more than 18 percent to $2.2 billion; 4) transportation equipment, at $1.1 billion; and 5) paper and paperboard, which increased exports by nearly 33 percent to $833.8 million. February 22 The Winnebago County Board of Supervisors voted to keep its board size at 36 supervisors, stopping an earlier proposal to reduce the board size by four seats. Such an initiative to trim the board by just four seats was perceived by many as an effort to subvert a citizen’s group interested in decreasing the size of the board even further. An ad-hoc committee formed in 2007 to study the size of the board recommended trimming it to 28 supervisors. State law only allows a county board to change its size once each decade between each federal Census. February 23 The Kaukauna School District approved initial layoff notices for 61 positions, about 25 percent of the district’s staff, in preparation for a reduction in shared revenue from the state. The layoffs are for the 2011-12 school year to help reduce expenses in the budget for the coming fiscal year. February 23 The Kimberly School District approved initial layoffs for 10 teachers in preparation for a reduction in shared revenue
SINCE WE LAST MET from the state. The layoffs are for the 2011-12 school year to help reduce expenses in the budget for the coming fiscal year. February 25 Oshkosh-based veterinary practice management software developer ImproMed Inc. was acquired by Butler Schein Animal Health, the largest companion animal health distributor in the United States. ImproMed will operate as a subsidiary of Butler Schein Animal Health, and is expected to maintain its 100 employees. It will continue to keep its headquarters in Oshkosh and will maintain Ron Detjen as its president. February 28 The Wisconsin Department of Transportation began work to demolish the 9th Avenue Bridge overpass of U.S. Highway 41 in Oshkosh, as well as close down the off and on ramps to the highway. The project, part of the US 41 expansion to six lanes in Winnebago County, should allow northbound off and on ramps to reopen in July in time for the EAA AirVenture convention. The remainder of the project is expected to be complete by November. February 28 The Ashwaubenon School District sent initial layoff notices to 13 teachers in preparation for a reduction in shared revenue from the state. The layoffs would be for the 2011-12 school year to help reduce expenses in the budget for the coming fiscal year. March 1 Gov. Scott Walker presented his version of a 2011-2013 biennial budget that trims $1.5 billion in aid to public schools, local government and Medicaid, primarily by having government employees pay more for their pension and health care benefits. Despite a projected $3.6 billion budget shortfall for the coming two-year period, the proposed budget avoids any tax or fee increases, employee furloughs or widespread layoffs. March 1 The Green Bay Common Council approved construction of a 60,000-sq. ft. alternative energy plant at 1230 Hurlbut St. The $23 million facility will be developed by Oneida Seven Generations Corp. and will convert as much as 150 tons of garbage into five megawatts of electricity every day. The facility was originally planned for Ashwaubenon, but village officials and residents raised concerns the plant would lower property values and be of risk to public health. March 2 Recall papers were taken out on nine state senators, including Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac), Sen. Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay), Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon). Overall, recall papers were taken out for five Democrats and four Republicans. Organizers who took out recall paperwork have until May 1 to gather enough signatures to force a recall election.
They’re coming... the 6th Annual Corporate Wellness Awards
To nominate an employer, go online to our Web site at www.newnorthb2b.com and download our Alla Tua Salute! form. Our panel of business and healthcare experts will select the most innovative employers for this honor.
Awards will be presented in our May 2011 edition in each of four categories: • Small Company (5 to 50 employees) • Mid-sized Company (51 to 250 employees) • Large Company (251 or more employees) • Start Up Wellness Program (2 years or less) Nominations extended to April 10, 2011. Send your nomination by mail to New North B2B, P.O. Box 559, Oshkosh, WI 54903 or email: email@example.com.
March 3 Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce appointed WisNEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011 l 7
SINCE WE LAST MET consin Bankers Association President Kurt Bauer as its president, succeeding Jim Haney who retired this past year after holding the post for the past 27 years. Bauer had been president and CEO of WBA for the past seven years, and prior to that role, he led the Arizona Bankers Association. March 4 The U.S. Department of Labor reported a total of 192,000 jobs were created in February, leaving the national unemployment rate relatively unchanged at 8.9 percent. Job gains occurred in manufacturing, construction, professional and business services, health care, and transportation and warehousing. March 4 Delta Air Lines announced it will add a daily, nonstop flight between Outagamie County Airport and Memphis on a seasonal basis beginning in June and running through Aug. 15. March 4 U.S. District Judge William Griesbach ruled NCR Corp. and Appleton Papers must take on most of the remaining responsibility of the estimated $700 million PCB cleanup expense from the lower Fox River, even though other companies and municipalities had a role in dumping contaminants into the river. In making the ruling, Judge Griesbach also ordered NCR and Appleton Papers to reimburse some of the other companies and municipalities for the costs they already paid toward the cleanup. Officials from both NCR and Appleton Papers said
8 l NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011
they will review options to ap peal the decision. The Fox River PCB cleanup – now in its third of an expected nine years – is the largest PCB river cleanup project in the country. March 4 The Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau awarded a $112,000 Capital Development Grant to support a $225,000 facility upgrade project at USA Youth Sports Complex in Appleton. The project includes visitor restrooms, parking and security lighting at the facility which hosts a number of regional and national soccer, and youth baseball tournaments. The upgrades are expected to be completed by late June. March 7 A total of 49 semifinalists were named in the eighth annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, including the following local entries: InterMeds, Marco Araujo of Green Bay; Matrix Reading Solutions, Richard Bowers of Hobart; BreadSt-Your Ave to the Web, Jeff Hayes of Neenah; SolarWindow, Jeff LeDuc of Appleton; PureTech Systems, Brad Schwei of Neenah; and Birdieworld, Brandon Taff of Neenah. The semifinalists were selected from a field of 220 first-round entries. Winners of the 2011 competition will be announced in June. March 7 Advance, the economic development arm of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, launched its new Brown County MicroLoan Program which provides loans between $5,000 to $100,000 for local entrepreneurs and small businesses to
SINCE WE LAST MET purchase machinery and equipment, inventory, working capital, as well as other certain business expenses. The microloan program includes a pool of capital loaned by 10 partnering financial institutions in Brown County. March 7 The Grubb & Ellis/Pfefferle Industrial Trends Reports for the fourth quarter 2010 indicated overall industrial vacancy rates remained unchanged in the Fox Cities at 10.8 percent during the last six months of 2010, and edged up slightly in Green Bay from 5.1 to 5.3 percent. In both markets, the second half of 2010 was characterized by fewer than 12 small industrial real estate transactions. The report indicated Green Bay is in the top 20 percent of markets in the U.S. in terms of low vacancy rates. March 8 The Green Bay School Board approved a two-year contract with the district’s teachers union that will cut nearly $15 million in expenses in each of the next two years by freezing salaries, requiring higher contributions for health insurance premiums and retirement benefits, and suspending a variety of work rules. The change was made in anticipation of a projected $20 million shortfall in the district’s 2011-12 budget and the eventual approval of the state budget repair bill. As a result of the new contract, district officials said they can craft a budget for the coming fiscal year that won’t affect current programs or services.
March 9 Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate approved an amended version of the state budget repair bill that included no fiscal provisions but did rescind certain opportunities to collectively bargain for health insurance and retirement pension contributions. Republicans approved the measure with no Democrats present in the chamber, as all 14 Senate Democrats remained in Illinois for three weeks to protest the measure. The budget repair bill was introduced in early February to help fill a $137 million gap in the current 2009-2011 state budget. A separate strictly fiscal version of the budget repair bill is expected to be taken up when Democrats return to Madison. March 10 Wisconsin State Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) received what law enforcement officials considered a credible death threat against himself and his family following a senate vote the previous day on the state’s budget repair bill. An email sent to Sen. Hopper warned him to “put your things in order because you will be killed and your families will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks,” and threatened to put “a nice little bullet in your head.” Law enforcement agencies in the Madison area took the lead on the investigation into the threats. March 14 State Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) pled no contest to a sexual misconduct citation in Outagamie County Circuit Court. Rep. Hintz said the incident was a bad decision that was
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March 15 The Federal Reserve Board decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent. In making its decision, the board said conditions in the labor market are improving gradually and household spending and business investment continue to expand, though it noted investment in nonresidential structures remains weak and the housing sector continues to be depressed. March 15 The City of Kaukauna Common Council approved a twoyear contract with Local 130 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union representing street and park department workers that will cut nearly $215,000 in expenses in each of the next two years by freezing salaries and requiring higher contributions for health insurance premiums. The change was made in anticipation of a projected $305,000 shortfall in the cityâ€™s 2011-12 budget for both the street and parks departments. March 15 The De Pere Common Council approved rezoning eight residential properties in the 800 block of Main Avenue and Oak Street to commercial use for the construction of a CVS pharmacy. Construction of the new retail building is expected to begin by late spring.
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March 15 The Combined Locks Village Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a proposal to merge its police department with the Fox Valley Metro Police Department already serving the villages of Kimberly and Little Chute. Combined Locks officials said they expect to save more than a half million dollars during the next 10 years as a result of the merger, in addition to receiving a higher level of police service with officers trained in specialized areas of investigation. The current police chief and five officers of the Combined Locks department will receive positions in the expanded Fox Valley Metro department. The merger is expected to be complete by July 1. March 16 City of Green Bay leaders said they would not pursue new contract deals with any of the 15 labor unions representing city employees in an effort to make adjustments before a new state law takes effect reducing the limits of collecting bargaining for public employees. Only one of the 15 unions approached the city offering concessions in exchange for a contract extension. All 15 separate labor contracts with the unions expire at the end of 2011. March 16 The town board of supervisors for Glenmore in Brown County approved a development plan for Cenergy to build eight wind turbines, despite strong opposition from more than 100 residents concerned with the merits of the project. In late 2010, a state legislative committee suspended wind turbine siting rules approved by the state Public Safety Commission, arguing there was evidence to suggest such turbines could threaten public health and safety. www.newnorthb2b.com
Once each quarter, New North B2B runs a digest of quarterly financial reports from local publicly traded companies, or from out-of-the-area parent companies with significant operations in the greater Fox Valley region.
February 23 Integrys Energy Group, Inc.
February 10 Tufco Technologies, Inc.
Revenue Income EPS
Revenue Income EPS
1Q 2011 $24.2 million ($178,000) (4 cents)
1Q 2010 $20.0 million s 21% ($150,000) t 19% (3 cents) t 33%
The Green Bay-based contract paper converter said demand from customers is increasing, but primarily on products with a larger materials content and higher material costs. The company said it’s focusing efforts on expanding the customer base in its business imaging segment. February 22 R.R. Donnelley & Sons, Inc. Revenue Income EPS
4Q 2010 $2.7 billion $27.0 million 13 cents
4Q 2009 $2.6 billion s 5% ($79.5 million) s 134% (39 cents) s 136%
February 23 Neenah Paper, Inc.
4Q 2010 $160 million $6.7 million 43 cents
4Q 2009 $1.57 billion t18% $23.2 million s 209% 30 cents s 203%
The parent company of Wisconsin Public Service Corp. operations across northeast and northcentral Wisconsin reported adjustable earnings of $40.3 million on the quarter for its regulated natural gas utility segment driven primarily by a nearly $17 million impact of rate increases. For the full fiscal year 2010, Integrys reported income of $221 million, or $2.83 per share, up from a full year 2009 loss of $69.6 million, or a loss of 91 cents per share. Company officials forecast fiscal 2011 earnings in a range of $3.28 to $3.61 per share. March 7 Appleton, Inc.
The parent company of former Banta operations across the Fox Cities suffered an impairment charge of more than $131 million during the fourth quarter of 2009, which accounted for much of its year ago losses. Domestic sales increased more than 5 percent on the quarter, partially attributed to the firm’s acquisition of Bowne.
Revenue Income EPS
4Q 2010 $1.29 billion $71.7 million 91 cents
4Q 2010 4Q 2009 $204 million $188 million s 8% ($7.8 million) ($14.3 million) s 45%
The employee-owned producer of thermal papers reported a nearly 12 percent increase in annual revenues to $850 million, though it said some of the increase was a result of price increases initiated throughout the year in response to escalating raw material costs. The company’s newly established Encapsys business segment reported sales increased nearly 30 percent on the year and shipments climbed by 50 percent. March 8 Alliance Laundry Holdings
4Q 2009 $155 million $4.1 million 28 cents
s 4% s 63% s 54%
Neenah’s fourth quarter earnings grew 13 cents per share as a result of the sales of the company’s Ripon, Calif. fine paper mill. For the full fiscal year 2010, Neenah Paper reported earnings of $8.60 per share primarily from the March 2010 sale of its remaining timberlands. Overall sales for fiscal 2010 increased 15 percent to $657.7 million, up from $573.9 million for the full year 2009.
FY 2010 FY 2009 $426.0 million $393.2 million s 8% $22.6 million $16.6 million s 36%
The Ripon-based manufacturer of commercial and residential laundry equipment attributed its successful recent year to the expansion of its customer programs, managing costs and strong growth in its emerging markets. Company officials said they will increase investment in new product development into 2011.
NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011 l 11
BUILD UP FOND DU LAC
C - Indicates a new listing
Build Up Fond du Lac 1
- 430 E. Division St., Fond du Lac, C Agnesian Healthcare St. Agnes Hospital, a build out of the fourth through sixth floors of the existing South Tower of the hospital for private patient care rooms.
2 - 1155 S. Military Road, Fond du Lac, Rolling Meadows Development, renovation of a former nursing home building and an addition to the fourth floor shell for a 101room hotel and conference center. Project completion expected in the spring of 2012.
3 - 246 Trowbridge Dr., Fond du Lac, Grande Cheese, an addition to the loading dock area of the existing facility. Project completion expected in April.
Build Up Oshkosh 4 - 800 High Ave., Oshkosh, University of WisconsinOshkosh, a four-story, 191,000-sq. ft. academic building for the College of Business Administration. Project completion expected in fall 2011.
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BUILD UP OSHKOSH
C - Indicates a new listing
- 600 Block of Algoma Blvd., Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a five-story, 340-bed student residence hall.
Projects completed since our March issue: • City of Fond du Lac/Fox Ridge Partners industrial spec building, 1739 Fox Ridge Dr., Fond du Lac. • Cinder’s Restaurant, 1002 N. Main St. Oshkosh.
6 - 755 Dempsey Trail, Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a 17,185-sq. ft. biodigestor energy plant. 7 - 1530 S. Koeller St., Oshkosh, Party City, an addition to the existing retail space for a new party supply store.
NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011 l 13
BUILD UP FOX CITIES The Build Up department of New North B2B includes a monthly two-page spread identifying significant commercial and industrial construction projects ongoing in the Fox Cities area. The listing does not include multi-tenant residences, interior renovation projects or commercial buildouts. C - Indicates a new listing
1 - N915 Craftsmen Dr., town of Greenville, Fox Valley Spring Co., a 28,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in April. 2 - 2950 Victory Lane, town of Grand Chute,
Bergstrom Infinity, a 18,413-sq. ft. addition to the existing auto dealership and a separate 22,267-sq. ft. auto dealership building. Project completion expected in April.
3300 E. Calumet Ave., Appleton, U.S. Bank, a new retail bank building. Project completion expected in late spring.
7 - 1506 S. Oneida St., Appleton, St. Elizabeth Hospital, a 6,370-sq. ft. addition and remodel of the existing cancer center at the hospital.
8 - 1050 Midway Road, Menasha, Subway, a new commercial/retail building. Project completion expected in late April.
9 - 1815 W. Spencer St., Appleton, Foremost Farms USA, a remodel and renovation of three separate manufacturing facilities on the site. Project completion expected in April.
- 500 N. Westhill Blvd., town of Grand Chute, C Pawn America, an 11,600-sq. ft. addition to the existing retail building.
- 2505 E. Evergreen Dr., Appleton, Evergreen Suites, a 9,126-sq. ft. multi-tenant commercial center to include Klusendorf Chiropractic. Project completion expected in May. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.
5 - 3000 Spirit Court, Little Chute, owner listed as Rod Van Eperen, a 12,414-sq. ft. motorcycle dealership and service shop building. Project completion expected in April.
- 1050 Cold Spring Road, town of Menasha, Kimberly-Clark Corp., a 129,150-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility to expand production and warehousing for its adult care products. Project completion expected in May.
11 - 150 N. Green Bay Road, Neenah, Bergstrom Chevrolet Buick Cadillac, an 8,680-sq. ft. addition between two existing automotive dealership showrooms and an interior remodel of the current buildings. Project completion expected in April. 12 - 271 River St., Menasha, Exopack, a 7,660-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. Project completion expected in late April. 13 - 130 Second St., Neenah, Theda Clark Memorial Hospital, a 10,897-sq. ft. addition to the first floor of the hospital and remodel of existing patient rooms. 14 - 913 S. Green Bay Road, Neenah, C Kwik Trip, a 5,800-sq. ft. convenience store, fuel station and car wash. 15
- 1815 Marathon Ave., Neenah, Curwood, a twostory, 19,500-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility and a separate 3,285-sq. ft. addition for wax storage. Project completion expected in April. Projects completed since our March issue: â€˘ Dermatology Associates, 3935 N. Lightning Dr., Appleton. â€˘ SCA Tissue North America, 1451 McMahon Dr., town of Menasha.
14 l NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011
BUILD UP FOX CITIES 4
1 3 9 7
NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011 l 15
BUILD UP GREEN BAY The Build Up department of New North B2B includes a monthly two-page spread identifying significant commercial and industrial construction projects ongoing in the Green Bay area. The listing does not include multi-tenant residences, interior renovation projects or commercial buildouts. C - Indicates a new listing
1 - 2806 Riverview Dr., Howard,
Dermatology Associates of Wisconsin, a 7,552-sq. ft. dermatology clinic.
6 - 1315 Lime Kiln Road, Green Bay, The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, a new multi-level community center. Project completion expected in late summer. 7
store and pharmacy.
- 600 Willard Dr., Ashwaubenon, PCM Employees Credit Union, a 12,276-sq. ft. financial institution office. Project completion expected in July.
4 - 1001 S. Huron Road, Green Bay,
9 - 421 Lawrence Dr., De Pere, Corrigan’s Custom Built Structures, an addition and alteration to the existing commercial building.
2 - 930 Main St., Green Bay,
CVS Pharmacy, a new retail
- 3146 Yeager Dr., Green Bay, Yeager Properties, a 75,332-sq. ft. office and warehouse building. Project completion expected in May. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. Huron Automotive Service Center, a new automotive service garage and office. Project completion expected in April.
- 1110 S. Huron Road, Green Bay, Cherney Microbiological Services, a 23,475-sq. ft. addition to the existing laboratory and testing complex. Project completion expected in April.
- 1121 W. Main Ave., Ashwaubenon, SparkNet Interactive, a four-story, 69,000-sq. ft. commercial office building. Project completion expected in June.
Projects completed since our March issue: • Subway Restaurant, 517 Dousman St., Green Bay. • Planet Fitness, 1831 Main St., Green Bay. • Hansen Frozen Foods, 930 Goddard Way, Green Bay. • Broadway Automotive, 2700 S. Ashland Ave., Ashwaubenon.
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AROUND THE BOARDROOM
The percent of population growth in Fond du Lac County from 2000 to 2010, the lowest growth rate among Brown, Calumet, Fond du Lac, Outagamie and Winnebago counties during the same period. Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Title: The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It Author: Michael E. Gerber Publisher: Harper Collins(Third Ed.1995) Pages: 268 List Price: $18.99 Why Buy: Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. Next, he walks you through the steps in the life of a business -- from entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains to the mature entrepreneurial perspective: the guiding light of all businesses that succeed -- and shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business, whether it is a franchise or not. Finally, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business.
...to promote wellness in the workplace
Wellness programs are linked to greater productivity, less absenteeism, and a reduction of long-term health care cost. The rationale behind wellness programs is that encouraging healthy habits now can prevent or lower the risk of serious health conditions later. Many companies implement comprehensive wellness programs that focus on preventive health and lifestyle modification. Even if you don’t have the resources to implement a complete wellness program, there are several things you can do that bring your company closer to wellness. Here are eight ideas:
Promote preventive care. Bring vaccination to the workplace for flu season. When your employees avoid the flu, they avoid missing out on days, if not weeks, of work. If your health insurance doesn’t cover it already, consider reimbursing employees for vaccination fees. ➋ Encourage exercise. Turn your office into an active campus. Implement and promote a lunch hour walking club and offer incentives for employees who participate. Encourage the entire office to use the stairs. ➌ Emphasize education. Brown bag lunches or break-time seminars are prime opportunities for helping employees learn more about healthy habits. Recruit speakers to lead sessions on cooking healthy meals, staying healthy while traveling, or quick stress management skills. ➍ Bring the doctor in. One of the most innovative trends in workplace wellness has been that of the office doctor’s office. On-site health clinics give employees the opportunity to schedule office visits for routine care without taking time off work. ➎ Invest in incentives. A growing trend is to cover an additional percent of the cost of health insurance premiums for employees who pass certain biometric markers – such as having a healthy body mass index,
18 l NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011
blood pressure, or blood sugar reading.
➏ Hone hunger options. Offer employees healthy meal
and snack options that help fuel their performance while also meeting their nutritional needs. Stock lunchrooms with fresh fruit baskets once a week, and be sure the office cafeteria has plenty of healthy meal options. ➐ Be mindful of mental health. Unmanaged stress has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure and sleep trouble. At the workplace, it can lead to inefficiency, job dissatisfaction, and absence from work. Consider offering an employee assistance program for employees who have financial troubles, excess stress or depression symptoms. ➑ Recommend behavioral resources. Consider coaching and disease management programs which pair employees with online, phone-based or face-to-face health professionals who can guide them through the steps of behavior change. Consider offering tobacco cessation, weight loss, or stress management programs to help empower your employees make lasting, noticeable change. By Lauren Lastowka for Inc. magazine www.newnorthb2b.com
AROUND THE BOARDROOM
Time’s Up? Time out.
ithout exception, I’ve never seen anyone (aside from nitwits) celebrate having caved into the pressure to “throw something together quickly” where marketing communications are concerned. Trade shows and sales promotions are notorious for precipitating slapdash behavior. Ask anyone who designs trade-show booths, develops point-of-purchase displays, or creates coupon inserts for the Sunday supplement. They can show you more quick-and-dirty compromise than can keep the Crap-O-Matic® humming until Demi Moore invites me over for deep tissue massage and a bottle of Harvey’s Bristol Crèam. The real pity should focus on the company that, for example, needs 60 pieces of overhauled collateral – including photography and printing completed in 35 days – and has yet to define its communication’s objective, project mandatories, selling proposition, support for claims, or call to action. A chunk of business that big is difficult to walk away from, especially when you’ve been clued that your competitors are pitching to the same unrealistic expectation. “Okay, we’ll just knock ourselves out and be the heroes. Our client will be endeared to us forever, right?” Wrong-o. Especially these days, how many advertising professionals want to say no to clients or a would-be client? Understandably anxious about how these projects can be executed, they whistle in the dark, knowing in all likelihood something – quality or cost – is going to suffer. Clients who receive that kind of service don’t usually come back. They quickly forget the lightning-fast turnaround and late-night martyrdom. They remember the unexpected cost for stock images, the way the final work overlooked their corporate standards, the typo in their phone number, and just how kind of blah it all turned out. If they do remember the miraculous turnaround, they’ll want warp speed again, along with all the risks it presents. Can the development of sound marketing communications really afford to skimp on time? Should the less-than-clued-in be the ones who garner the work, only to ultimately underperform? A great product with a great offer will get results that are adequate for some. But the ones who shun message medi-
ocrity are left wondering how greater the payout would have been if the tactics supporting their promotion had been afforded the time and thought necessary to be stellar. Allow the professionals you pay the time to think and do what you’re paying them for in the first place. Quick-anddirty work is toxic – not only for a legitimate marketing effort, but also for the poor slobs who live to craft it. Throw a crowd of marketing people into the review-andapproval process and your tactics will sink further into the mire of mediocrity. You will have achieved the least common denominator, safely settling into the clutter of our over-communicated lives. Instead, assign the authority to someone you can trust – and hold accountable. When we overestimate what we’re really capable of doing, corners get cut. Revisions can’t keep up with the next round of feedback and direction upon further consideration. How can anything effective emerge from this muddle except by sheer dumb luck? If they’re worth their skin, they must absolutely be allowed to craft good, great work. So I’ll ask, no beg, decision-makers to stop dragging their feet before authorizing work – as well as to stop mulling things over for further direction after panicked work has been turned around. There are exceptions. We all need to fly by the seat of the pants from time to time. Those unexpected opportunities are what contingency budgets are for. They should be no more than a tenth of your outlay for advertising and promotion. Marketing communications people are generally not characterized by naturally low energy. They will jump through very high hoops. They have a passion for breakthrough work and will knock themselves out to outdo themselves – often over and above the cost contracted with their clients. Time is money. Please try looking at that a different way. Work your plan. Involve your team early. Give them ample time. Be cognizant of your role in the overall progress of the process. Enjoy the results. Apologies for the rant. With tiny spirals for eyes, Doo (my euro-stylish capuchin) has been fixated on the Wii while I sleeplessly bang out feverishly composed work. It was inevitable – I’m only one person. Behind the façade of Mr. Stronglove is an advertising professional wielding his strategic and conceptual stealth in all forms of media (except book jackets). Send comments (or crisp twenties) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011 l 19
Firefighters of northeast wisconsin
Local business owners tired of constantly putting out fires seek help from our experts
Story by Sean Fitzgerald New North B2B Publisher
20 l NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011
COVER STORY NO MAN IS AN ISLAND, or so the saying goes, unless that individual is a business owner. Being a business owner can seem like a lonely proposition – around every corner there seems to be new, yet-to-experience problems and dilemmas that rear their ugly head. Who should a business owner turn to for help? How does one stop the continual bombardment of fires that seem to break out in the business at least once or twice a day? Expert authors of nationally best-selling books on business management teach that business owners, presidents and CEOs can’t be constantly putting out fires. They need to work on the business, nurture its growth, and implement the systems and protocol to ensure the fires are minimized. When those flare ups do occur, such systems and protocol should identify other resources within the organization beside the business owner to extinguish the fire. That’s ultimately the concept behind New North B2B’s inaugural Firefighters of Northeast Wisconsin initiative. During the past few months, we’ve solicited nominations seeking out those business owners who feel as if they’re constantly burning the candle at both ends, putting out fires, spinning their wheels, but intent on finding a way to improve.
Business 9-1-1 dispatch center TO LEND SOME ASSISTANCE to those brave entrepreneurs, B2B secured the expertise of a couple of northeast Wisconsin’s best and brightest small business consultants and strategists, who’ve offered to lend their time toward getting our business owners back on track, putting out the fires, and moving on to growing a prosperous enterprise. During the course of the next three to five months, Steve Van Remortel of SM Advisors in Green Bay and Gary Vaughan of Guident Business Solutions in Appleton will donate their time
and expertise to work one-on-one with our business owners to develop a long-term plan for their business. Along the way and wrapping up with a capstone article in our September 2011 edition, B2B will follow up with each of our business owners and their strategy coaches to learn what progress has been made, and share their ideas and strategies with readers. What kind of help can these small businesses expect from our consultants? Vaughan started Guident two years ago to work with clients on improving their financial outlook by building owner equity in the business. “Everything is a financial decision – that’s how we perceive it,” Vaughan said. With many of the business owners who Vaughan works with regularly, the “fires” they have in their organization typically stem from problems with cash flow. While he views financial documents as important, he’d rather his clients attempt to take a longer term perspective than getting worried about the regular performance of monthly profit and loss statements, for example. “Otherwise, you get so caught up in ‘We had a good month, we had a bad month,’ and it starts to control us,” Vaughan said. Van Remortel launched SM Advisors 12 years ago with the notion that strategic management – hence the name of his firm – needs to be a critical part of moving any business forward successfully. His team has completed more than 500 planning processes in more than 250 businesses across the country, guiding each to develop a differentiated strategy and build a skill-set aligned team to execute that strategy. As a thought leader on strategic planning and talent management, Van Remortel has been gaining prominence around the region and nationally for his proprietary Stop Selling Vanilla
Firefighters of northeast Wisconsin
The consultants Gary Vaughan Founder, owner and president Guident Business Solutions LLC, Appleton www.guidentbusinesssolutions.com Vaughan launched Guident in February 2009 after spending his entire career teaching – both in the classroom and in business. Having previously spent many years as a business owner himself, Vaughan realized many business owners lacked fundamental skills such as understanding financials, human resource practices and management skills, as examples. His organization’s proprietary Guident 360° Assessment Program enables business owners to holistically address their business needs. Vaughan has professional experience in a variety of industries, including retail, petroleum, manufacturing and academics. He is a senior adjunct instructor for Concordia University of Wisconsin; an instructor of financial analysis, budgeting and cost controls at Fox Valley Technical College; and a lecturer in economics and entrepreneurship at Lawrence University.
Steve Van Remortel Founder, owner and president SM Advisors, Green Bay www.smadvisors.com Van Remortel launched SM Advisors in 1999 following a career either leading or owning manufacturing, distribution and service companies. He holds a master’s degree in strategic management, as well as earned accreditation as a Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst. SM Advisors has completed more than 500 planning processes in over 250 businesses across the country from start up companies to those with annual revenues in excess of $4 billion. The firm focuses on the two fundamentals of business – strategy and talent – and guides organizations in developing a differentiated strategy and building a skill-set aligned team to execute the plan. As a thought leader on strategic planning and talent management, Van Remortel has written articles for a variety of newspapers and periodicals. His book Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream is slated for publication this coming summer 2011.
NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011 l 21
COVER STORY Ice Cream process which he uses with clients to develop a differentiated strategy. A book he’s authored of the same title is slated for publication this coming summer 2011. From his viewpoint, most struggling businesses can be salvageable if they develop and effectively execute a well-planned strategy. “The fundamentals of business are all the same,” said Van Remortel. But it’s the individuals running the business, and the decisions they make, that determine whether or not they’ll ultimately have a profitable day.
Extinguishing fires Despite significant growth and a relatively dependable load of customer demand, the owners of Green Bay-based IT Connexx – as well as a sister company, DVM Connexx – are nearly six years into their business and working around the clock. Owners Kevin Scholz and Brian O’Shaughnessy acknowledge that in order to take their company to the next level of maturity, they need to learn more discipline in reviewing their financial statements from a strategic perspective. Both partners recognize the 12-employee company has grown to a point where the technical management, financial management, and staff management has grown beyond the operational comfort that existed when it was just the two of them. “Management as a company has become much more tactical,” said Scholz, the CEO and chief operating officer for the technology services contractor. The two partners had worked with one another in western Wisconsin during the 1990s doing IT in the veterinary industry.
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PROFILE Company: Owners: Location: Year started: Employees: What it does: Web site:
IT Connexx Brian O’Shaughnessy and Kevin Scholz Green Bay and Appleton 2005 12 The firm provides urgent care – as well as disruption prevention planning – for business hardware, software and other tech- nology needs. www.itconnexx.com
They became friends who kept in touch after O’Shaughnessy moved to Green Bay in 1998 to work in IT at the former American Medical Security, now United Healthcare. A few years later he went out on his own to provide contract IT assistance to small and mid-sized businesses and organizations in the Fox Valley. In the meantime, Scholz moved to the Green Bay area as well, running his own company that provided IT services specifically to veterinary practices across the country. At the time, Scholz was spending months out of each year away from home working on large-scale projects for clients in other states. Both friends experienced a growth in demand for their services, which eventually outpaced the time each had available. As they debated what would be the next steps in allowing their respective businesses to become more productive and more efficient, they eventually decided to merge together their own one-man-shows in 2005. “Brian and I sketched out a plan a long time ago what we wanted and what it would take,” Scholz said. Today, both DVM Connexx, its veterinary practice IT service side, and IT Connexx, its small to mid-size company regional IT service provider, have matured much of their systems, their processes and their client base. The two are primarily run as separate companies – with Scholz giving more attention to DVM Connexx and O’Shaughnessy providing more focus to IT Connexx – yet, they share staff and they share management. Additionally, it’s still tough for them to let go of some the day-to-day “technical” aspects of the job and focus on bigpicture management issues. “When I was by myself, I wore every hat,” said O’Shaughnessy, who serves as president of the company. “The hardest thing for me is to hand off a problem (to one of his engineers) for a client that I know well and that I know I can take a minute and a half to solve, but it might take someone else a few hours to do.” That’s especially the case in a business model that generates revenue by the hour. “I try very hard not to be billable, but it’s been a transition that’s taken a couple of years,” O’Shaughnessy said. “There’s no doubt we both enjoy going out and personally doing the work.”
COVER STORY PROFILE Company: Owners: Location: Year started: Employees: What it does:
Action Painting & Carpet Care Ruben and June Contreras Appleton 2005 6 The family-owned company provides interior and exterior painting and carpet care services throughout the Fox Valley region. www.actionpaintingservices.com
The two partners hope their work with Van Remortel and SM Advisors can lead to a tactical strategy to manage and grow both of their companies within their respective markets.
Getting back on track The entrepreneurial spirit thrives with Ruben Contreras, who started Action Painting & Carpet Care in Appleton in 2005. In just six years he went from working three separate outside jobs to support the business he was starting into a six-employee company which provides interior and exterior painting, carpet care, snow plowing and landscaping service across the Fox Valley region, primarily to single- and multi-family residences. But a variety of circumstances related to back taxes and a financial picture that’s correctable – but right now feels as if it’s out of control – are keeping Contreras from taking his company to its full potential. After moving from Mexico to the Fox Valley 14 years ago without the ability to speak and understand English, Contreras enrolled in the English as a Second Language program at Fox Valley Technical College, and a few years later began working for a paint contractor and learned the trade. After five years of working for two different paint contractors in what Contreras learned was an unstable industry, he decided to go out on his own with the support of his wife, June. At first, Contreras took one or two jobs here and there as they came his way. But by the end of his second year, he had resigned his other three jobs, taken fulltime to his business and even hired his first employee. From there, he steadily grew his menu of services, his customer base, his workforce, and ultimately the complexity of his business. Today, business is much more vibrant than it was five years ago. But Contreras acknowledges a number of missteps in regard to an unintentional lack of payments made to the IRS and the state Department of Revenue. Not surprisingly, it’s a mistake a number of new small business owners make – particularly in the building trades – and often leads to their eventual dissolution. But Contreras won’t succumb to allowing past due tax payments to shut down his business. “My biggest goal right now is to be straight up with the state and federal government,” Contreras said. “But right now we
feel like we’re adding more water to the bottle and more water to the bottle, and it just starts flowing over.” In addition, due to some past bookkeeping errors, Contreras has paid too much for his worker’s compensation insurance, and as a result he’s considerably overspent on his insurance budget. All six of his employees were rated as painters – which carries one of the highest rates of worker’s comp coverage because they’re routinely climbing ladders and scaffolding – even though some of his employees strictly clean carpets and never leave the ground. Lastly, marketing is an area that continues to challenge Contreras. An avid networker and a well-known fixture at chamber of commerce events in the Fox Cities and the Heart of the Valley, Contreras most certainly is the public face of Action Painting. But he admits he struggles with how to effectively spend his marketing budget. Despite the troubles in his business, his heart is in the right place. Contreras and his crew regularly donate their time to paint facilities for non-profits around the area. For his efforts, the Fox Cities YMCA recognized him as its 2011 Volunteer of the Year. He’s hoping Vaughn and Guident Business Solutions can help him lay out a road map for Action Painting to follow and get on the track to success for years to come. “This is the first generation of many,” Contreras said, echoing the storied American dream. “I hope to be able to build this up and pass it off to my kids.”
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NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011l 23
Tools of attraction
Legislature’s special session earlier this year offered a host of incentives to retain and recruit businesses to Wisconsin Story by Lee Marie Reinsch
Ham points. Double coupons. Buy one, get one deals. Buy five boxes of Krunchy Kritters cereal and receive a free gallon of milk. Five-dollar gas card after you rack up $3.2 bazillion in purchases. Grocery stores and other commercial outlets use all kinds of alluring gimmicks to lure customers through their doors. On a much larger scale, Wisconsin – like many other states around the country – offers a variety of incentives with the goal of attracting business and rewarding locally grown companies for continuing to add jobs here. Passed into law earlier this year during a special session of the legislature, several bills set forth by the Gov. Scott Walker administration offer enticements for businesses that may be looking to expand or move to Wisconsin from out of state. For economic development officials in the region, it expands the toolbox available to them to help the New North compete with other vibrant markets across the country. “We have had tax credit programs for a long time, and this is expanding it,” said Rob Kleman, executive director of the Oshkosh Area Economic Development Corp., the economic development arm of the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce. Here’s a sample of some of the state’s recent moves toward making Wisconsin more marketable to business.
24 l NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011
GOVERNMENT Relocate, get two years of tax credits Also known as Act 3 of Wisconsin Assembly Bill No. 7, out-of-state businesses that move at least half of their employees and operations into Wisconsin can get up to two years of income and franchise tax deductions and credits equal to their net income tax liability. “Corporations that locate to the state from another state, moving at least 51 percent of their workforce payroll (or at least $200,000 in wages, as defined in Section 3121 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service code) for at least two consecutive years” may qualify for the deal, according to Tony Hozeny, communications director for the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. The measure took place in the wake of the tax increase in Illinois and Gov. Walker’s bumper sticker campaign to businesses from our neighbors to the south to “escape to Wisconsin.” “For companies looking to relocate to our area from outside the state, this is another good tool we would have on hand to utilize in Wisconsin, and ultimately locally. It is a recruitment tool,” Kleman said. In early 2011, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn raised the corporate income tax rate from 4.8 percent to 7 percent and the personal income tax rate from 3 to 5 percent. Gov. Quinn’s move apparently spurred the Crystal Lake, Ill. exhibit-supply company Catalyst Exhibits, Inc. move to Wisconsin. Act 3 took effect on Feb. 15, 2011.
Deal extended due to popular demand Also known as Wisconsin Act 4, the legislature approved a measure in late January to inject an extra $25 million into state’s economic development tax credit program. The program started out the state’s two-year budget cycle back in July 2009 with $75 million available to help businesses expand their operations across the state, but that money ran low as more and more qualifying awards were presented last year. A variety of northeast Wisconsin companies received economic development tax credits during 2010 for capital improvement projects that enhanced facilities or acquired new equipment, ultimately allowing them to expand operations. “We provide an income tax credit to companies that undertake and accomplish certain initiatives, such as job investment and training,” Hozeny said.
Hire 1, get $$ off If you’re a business that grosses less than $5 million per year and you hire new employees, you can deduct up to $4,000 per new employee under Act 5 of AB 7 relating to job creation. For businesses over $5 million in annual receipts, the deduction is $2,000 per employee. Of course, the deal has fine print. Each employee has to earn at least $20,000 per year, and a certain dollar amount has to be spent on training and development of employees. But Eric Hoopman, owner of DealerFire, a new media marketing tool for the automotive industry based in Oshkosh, said the hoops are worth hopping through. “We have a couple hundred thousand dollars capital investment in the business that needs to happen, and there are some other terms – the jobs need to be of a certain duration and pay grade, but really our business is made up of 98 percent technical professionals,” Hoopman said. “We are a sweet spot for that.” DealerFire employs 45 people full time and is applying for a tax credit for another 30. The company creates custom Web sites and marketing solutions for automotive dealers throughout the U.S. and Canada. “I thought the state did a great job of communicating their need,” Hoopman said. “The process wasn’t that painful. It might be painful for an upstart
The Wisconsin Legislature enacted five tax-related bills during a special session in January 2011.
✩ Act 1 - Eliminates state income taxes on health savings accounts by conforming to federal law. The change is estimated to reduce tax revenues by $48 million over the 2011-2013 biennium. ✩ Act 3 - Provides income and franchise tax deductions and credits equal to net income tax liability for two years for businesses that relocate to Wisconsin. The change would reduce revenues by an estimated $1 million during the next two-year state budget period. ✩ Act 4 - Increases by $25 million the amount of economic development tax credits available. Credits now total $98.1 million. The increase has no immediate fiscal effect, since the additional credits are not expected to be claimed in 2011-13. ✩ Act 5 - Offers income franchise tax deductions businesses that create jobs. deduction would reduce revenues by an estimated million in 2011-2013.
and for The tax $89
✩ Act 9 - Requires a two-thirds legislative vote to approve tax rate increases on income, sales or franchise taxes. Source: Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance
NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011 l 25
GOVERNMENT business without a solid history, but for a growing small business, it’s worth going for. I would absolutely recommend going through it.” The tax deduction can’t be taken if a company is already taking advantage of the relocation tax deduction. Act 5 took effect Feb. 19, 2011.
Now under new management Well, sort of. Known formally as Act 7, legislators stripped down the existing state Department of Commerce to create the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, a quasi-public agency that will focus its efforts more exclusively on business attraction, retention and job creation. The new WEDC takes effect as of July 1. “Planning is going on to make the transition to a private corporation,” said Hozeny of the state Department of Commerce. The new Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. will be relieved of some of the responsibilities it currently is charged with, such as overseeing tax credit programs for film production and dairy facility investment. The state Department of Tourism will handle film production tax credits going forward, and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will handle the dairy credit. The reorganization also shifts certification and aid programs related to businesses owned by disabled veterans, women and minorities to the newly named Department of Safety and Professional Services, or DSPS for short, formerly referred to as the state Department of Regulation and Licensing.
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If you’re a business that grosses less than $5 million per year and you hire new employees, you can deduct up to $4,000 per new employee under Act 5... DSPS will also take over grant programs for innovation and research assistance in business, as well as grants to the Women’s Business Initiative Corp. “The funding we have to help companies will transfer over,” Hozeny said. “The idea is that we will be more nimble and able to help businesses.” Longtime critics of the standing Department of Commerce structure argued the agency was saddled with too many other responsibilities – such as building code enforcement oversight and the film production credit program – to allow it to effectively concentrate on competing nationally and globally to attract businesses into the state. A 13-person board of directors, with Gov. Walker as chair, will oversee WEDC. The board will consist of legislators and private-sector business people who are appointed. According to Kleman, the new statewide economic development agency will be open and accountable. “By consolidating a lot of programs, it’s going to make the
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GOVERNMENT process easier to navigate through for businesses and entrepreneurs,” Kleman said. “It will help with response times … and help advance their projects faster. “We are the economic development arm of the Oshkosh chamber, and our charge is to grow jobs, grow the city’s tax base, and connect our businesses with resources that are out there in the field,” Kleman said. “As we go out and market our area outside Wisconsin, we would certainly be talking about this as one of the incentives that the state has to offer to relocate here.”
(The Relocation Tax Credit) took place in the wake of the tax increase in Illinois and Gov. Walker’s bumper sticker campaign to businesses from our neighbors to the south to “escape to Wisconsin.”
On the sidelines As with every deal, there’s fine print, and it’s not all good news. Gov. Walker’s 2011-2013 biennial budget proposal nixes many programs that could help small business. Out the window, according to Assembly Bill 40, are: • All current economic development grant and loan programs administered by Commerce, including grants to Wisconsin Business Development Finance Corporation for a capital access program; • Grants and loans to a business or researcher for projects generally related to renewable energy; • Loans to manufacturing businesses for projects generally related to energy efficiency and renewable energy; • Grants and loans to businesses for diversifying a local economy; • Grants and loans for improving the profitability of businesses negatively impacted by a casino; • Grants to the Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation; • Grants to businesses for employee skills training or other education; • Grants to businesses for expenses in hiring students as paid interns; and • Grants and loans to businesses, municipalities, and other entities for encouraging minority businesses and businesses in economically distressed areas, and for strengthening urban and rural communities. Also, AB 40 would repeal the requirement that the Department of Commerce link investors of venture capital and entrepreneurs seeking to obtain venture capital. It also sets the annual grant issued to regional economic development organizations like The New North at $100,000, down from the $200,000 such organizations have received in recent years to help fund marketing activities. An alumna of Ripon College, Lee Reinsch is a freelance writer based in Green Bay.
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Mentoring for small business Help for entrepreneurs when and where they need it most
Story by Cheryl Hentz Business owners have historically been in business with themselves and by themselves, often acting as their own navigation system. Some may have had an academic background in business, but oftentimes, they developed a skill in another area before stepping into a role of running the day-today operations of their business. Frequently they’re able to handle a lot of the issues and circumstances that come up within their own area of expertise, but there’s bound to be other areas – such as finance, management, marketing, or technology, as examples – where they don’t quite have the background to deal with more complex situations that arise. They could ask family, friends, consult the Web, periodicals, or even casual acquaintances who can provide suggestions or even give a steady flow of information regarding industry trends. But more frequently than not, business owners suffer through those trials, perhaps making some wrong decisions and mistakes that cost time, money or even good employees. Business mentors – someone who has been down those roads in the past and can share their wisdom on an ongoing basis – can certainly help entrepreneurs navigate those unfamiliar, sometimes choppy, waters. Advice and support from 28 l NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011
business mentors has become more readily available through formal programs in northeast Wisconsin, where three particular mentorship programs have gained prominence during the past few years.
Betting on the Pack The Green Bay Packers Mentor-Protégé Program started earlier this year in partnership with local business development leaders to foster business growth, economic development and job creation in Brown County. The program matches mentor firms from the Green Bay area that can provide technical, managerial, financial or other guidance to protégé companies seeking to improve their competitive standing. The mentor-protégé relationship requires at least a 12-month commitment from those companies selected to participate. Initially, protégé companies will be minority- or woman-owned businesses located in Brown County or the Oneida Nation Reservation. The goal is to eventually have veteran-owned and other small businesses participate as the program develops. “We felt this would be a good opportunity to help establish a program that can help companies take the next step in www.newnorthb2b.com
their own business development,” said Jason Wied, Green Bay Packers vice president of administration and general counsel. “We know many organizations in our area have the expertise to assist in developing the various skills needed by small businesses to grow and become more successful companies.” Mentor companies must be established businesses with the appropriate resources and the ability to commit to the program and the needs of the protégé. Some of those organizations already committed to serving as mentors include: Alliance Construction and Design, Small Business Development Center, Schenck Business Solutions, Schreiber Foods, United Healthcare and Wipfli. According to Anna Steinfest, president and CEO of Green Bay-based AFF Research LLC, the company administering the program, the program kicked off with a meet-and-greet session earlier in the year where the mentors and protégés came together at a networking event. “The protégés submitted information about the kind of help they might need and the challenges they face,” she said. “Likewise, the mentors stated what areas of expertise they had. From there, formal matches were made.” Diane Gustin, owner Heart at Work Unlimited LLC in Suamico, was selected as a protégé. She and her husband have owned a business before, but this venture – started last November – is different for her and because it’s out of the ordinary, she feels she needs more assistance. “My company’s mission is to employ people with special needs, so I really need people who I can bounce ideas off of; there’s no one in the company that I can do that with,” Gustin said. She also needs help obtaining a trademark for her logo and protecting certain intellectual property. She is paired with Lathrop & Clark, LLP, a Madison-area law firm that handles intellectual property needs for businesses. “We looked at Green Bay as an innovative and vibrant community and saw this as a great service that the Packer organization was providing to the area, and in particular to women- and minority-owned businesses,” said Jason Hunt, a patent attorney with the firm. “We hope to put our protégé in a better position than they are now and to increase the value of her own company in whatever way that comes about through the process.” For protégé Lee Ann Laes, owner of About Body LLC in Green Bay, there’s a need for more expertise about growing her business as opposed to getting it started. She’s been in business for eight years, but Laes is getting so busy that she needs to expand her operation. In fact, she’d eventually like to franchise her business, but finds that prospect a bit daunting. “I’m hoping to gain knowledge from (her mentor, Julie Musial, owner of the Growth Coach for Northeast Wisconsin) so I can get these things done without going through too many pitfalls,” Laes said. “But I also hope that she’ll be able to help me with the more basic questions I have, everything from the different aspects of running a business to things you have to do to comply with (ever-changing) state and federal rules.” Musial has mentored people for years – both professionally and in a volunteer capacity with SCORE. Now she’s been selected as a mentor in the Packers’ mentor-protégé program. “I’m an executive business coach, so while I don’t do it for
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ENTREPRENEURSHIP free, I mentor all my clients…My goal is to help as many people reach their goals as possible,” Musial said. “I’m very passionate about people and I enjoy seeing people achieve their goals. That’s why I do what I do. When I can help someone to achieve their goals, it gives me great fulfillment.” The success of the program will be tracked in its inaugural year so they can “show the community that it is working,” Steinfest said, though she also stressed the model may change as the program evolves. “We’ve already received extraordinary feedback from all the mentors and the protégés. They hadn’t even been selected for the matching, yet, but they still gave us a lot of feedback to consider as we began developing the program.”
E-Hub Urban Hope Entrepreneur Center Formed by former Packers player Reggie White and his wife, Sarah, Green Bay-based Urban Hope has had a mentorship program in place for several years to help its business services clients gain experienced advice about various aspects of business management and operations. Once characterized as its leader group, Mentorship Advantage is a separate, but similar program that started though the E-Hub Urban Hope Entrepreneur Center earlier this year. According to executive director Mark Burwell, E-Hub has over 600 businesses in northeast Wisconsin who serve as mentors for each other, but said it’s not a typical mentorship program. “It’s an informal mentoring program called ‘economic gardening.’ It’s not an old-fashioned education-parenting kind of program where a mentor shadows somebody. The peer-to-peer mentorship is people getting together who share some of the same commonalities,” Burwell explained. “Sometimes it could be a 5-minute mentor; or it could be a 3-hour mentor. It is not a formal (program) like the Packers Protégé program.” Despite the informality, there are certain requirements and expectations in place for business owners who participate. Business owners must have completed the “Stepping Up to New Opportunities” entrepreneur series and need to have a formal business plan developed. “The series benefits individuals exploring opportunities in entrepreneurship, as well as those already in business who
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need to reboot or launch their business. Fifty percent of the people coming through our program in the last four or five years have been existing businesses,” said Burwell. Kathleen Zeitler, owner of Signs That Sell and Focus Studio 7, both located in the Green Bay area, has been involved with E-Hub for several years as both a mentor and someone being mentored. She describes the program as being “a gathering of entrepreneurs who have the same passion, and through this program you find out if you want to go in that direction or not.” “It gives you solid information that will better the journey that you’re going to be on. And it is a journey, with highs and lows, but if you get the right information, there’s a lot less lows,” said Zeitler. Sandee Sims, owner of Inspirations Salon in Green Bay, has been in business for six years. Like Zeitler, she has been mentored and now serves as a mentor for E-Hub’s Mentorship Advantage program. A personal friend of the Whites, Sims said, “It’s believing in a common interest, which is a community of people helping and mentoring each other. It’s not about a structured thing where you’re teaching people how to do things or how to become successful. There’s so many different cogs in the machine that make it work,” she explained. While there is no cost to be in the mentorship program, the cost for the “Stepping Up…” series is $850. Depending on one’s income level, tuition grants are available. For more information, visit www.Entrepreneurhub.org.
Raising the SCORE SCORE, the shortened version of the previously referred-to Service Corps of Retired Executives, is a longstanding business assistance organization supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration. In recent years it’s begun modifying its focus to provide longer relationships to the businesses it serves. The volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization historically had a reputation for providing business assistance only at the start-up stage, but is recognizing it has the tools to help businesses at other stages in their development as well. “Seven years ago the national organization decided to drop the acronym because it no longer reflected the reality of the organizational makeup,” explained Jothi Nedungadi, chair of
ENTREPRENEURSHIP the SCORE chapter that serves the Fox Cities, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac, as well as eight different surrounding counties in the region. “Sixty-four percent of our mentors today are existing business owners so they had to drop that acronym and just stick with SCORE as a name. It’s no longer made up of retired business people and we’re not considered counselors anymore; we’re actually mentors.” About two years ago the national organization started a branding exercise, and the logo and tag line were changed at that time. Now they’re known as SCORE, For the Life of Your Business, said Nedungadi. “In line with all of that, there’s been a tremendous amount of support from national organizations and corporations to support our mission, which is basically ‘SCORE grows successful small businesses across America one business at a time.’ And a lot of these national sponsors and partners – like American Express, Cisco, Google, Constant Contact, Best Buy, so on and so forth – are basically underwriting the funding for a lot of the systems and the software to support this new mission and direction of SCORE,” she said. One item of support offered by Deluxe Corp. is a standard mentoring methodology so SCORE can consistently turn out well-trained mentors. Along with the changes will be a new Web site that should be up and running by the end of April. Data is being transferred from one system to another now and with that will be a sophisticated, state-of-the-art contact relationship management system that will be integrated with the Web site. “So a lot of the clients who come in to seek mentoring will
be able to do some self-scheduling where they can look for any mentor within the system – it doesn’t even have to be someone local; it can be throughout the United States; if there’s a specific skill they’re looking for in a mentor, they’ll be able to find them – and schedule their own meetings with them, whether it’s online, face to face, or on the phone,” she said. With the new system there will be a relationship manager who will serve as the primary mentor. “Then going forward, when we see a need for other skills or other areas of expertise that may be needed to be brought into the mix, we will bring in other specialists,” said Nedungadi. “So there will always be one primary for the length of the relationship, however long the client wants us there, and then we’ll keep bringing in new specialists to the mix to help with the business.” Nedungadi believes that they’ve always provided an outstanding service, but she says when everything is switched over to the new system, she believes SCORE will be the premier mentoring service available. Mentoring services are provided free of charge. An application for mentoring services is rather short – only about 1 to 1½ pages in length – and asks for basic information. For more information, visit www.score.org. Cheryl Hentz is a freelance writer from Oshkosh with more than 25 years experience. Her articles have appeared in several newspapers and magazines and cover topics including business and economic development, minority issues, family pets and animal rights, finance, politics and women’s issues. She can be reached at 920.426.4123 or via email at email@example.com.
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P R O F I L E
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE
Delivering the gift of sound Fox Valley Hearing Loop helps clear the air in public venues for those with hearing aids Story by Cheryl Hentz About 10 percent of all Wisconsinites have some type of hearing loss. On a national basis, about 17 percent, or 36 million, American adults report some degree of hearing loss, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. About one in four of those – some 8.4 million – have hearing aids. Today’s digital hearing aids enhance hearing in conversational settings. Yet for many people with hearing loss, the sound becomes unclear when auditorium or television loudspeakers are at a distance, when the context is noisy, or when room acoustics reverberate sound. Because of those situations, Oshkosh audiologist Juliëtte Sterkens, co-owner of Fox Valley Hearing Center in Oshkosh, and her husband LeRoy “Max” Maxfield, started Fox Valley Hearing Loop LLC, a firm that installs hearing loops in venues where larger numbers of people gather. A hearing loop helps people who use hearing aids that are equipped with T-coils hear sounds from a PA system directly and clearly in the hearing aid, because it reduces or cuts out background noise. Hearing loops provide a magnetic, wireless signal that is picked up by the hearing aid when it is set to “T” (Telecoil) setting. The loop system consists of a microphone to pick up the spoken word; an amplifier which processes the signal which is then sent through the final piece; and the loop cable, a wire placed around the perimeter of a room to act as an antenna that radiates the magnetic signal to the hearing aid.
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When a hearing aid user selects the “T” setting, he or she can pick up the sounds spoken into a public address system’s microphone instead of the hearing aid’s internal microphone. That results in improved speech understanding because the listener receives a clear signal without any background noise.
Not exactly new Loops have been used in Europe for decades, but Sterkens, who was born and raised in the Netherlands, believed that for any number of reasons they hadn’t caught on here in the United States. “But in 2008 I heard a gentleman from Michigan talk about how he has been able to advocate for hearing loops, and I remember sitting in the back of the room thinking ‘The only reason this is not happening in Oshkosh is because I’m not doing it, advocating and promoting it,’” said Sterkens. “But I thought I should be doing it because hearing loops are good for people who are hard of hearing.” After the meeting she spoke with her husband, Max, then 63, who suggested he could retire from his job at Oshkosh Corp. to install hearing loops in areas where there was interest. So in late 2008, the couple formed Fox Valley Hearing Loop and began getting the word out. Sterkens called other audiologists to gain support, and reached out to architects and businesses, especially publicly used buildings to discuss the benefits of having a hearing loop installed. Support has been strong.
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE In two short years they have gone from one loop system already installed in a fellowship hall in Appleton to more than 55 systems being installed throughout different venues or public buildings in northeast Wisconsin. Many of the locations include churches, but performing arts centers, meeting rooms and lecture halls, assisted living facilities and nursing homes, retirement facilities – even funeral homes – are all places where hearing loops can benefit people who suffer even a slight hearing loss. “Really, any place where people go to listen should consider this technology, because many people are affected. Hearing loss is an invisible handicap and the need is growing,” said Sterkens. “About one out of every 10 people is hearing impaired and there are about 78 million Baby Boomers who will be turning 65 in the next 20 to 25 years. “But that whole aging process also takes a toll on the hearing. And at the age of 70 that number increases to 30 percent of people having some form of hearing loss. So the need to have accommodations for people who do not hear well is growing.”
Obstacles to overcome One of the challenges Sterkens has encountered is getting people to understand why this technology is necessary if someone is already wearing a hearing aid. “If somebody was sitting in a wheelchair outside of a building and there was a 2-foot step preventing that person from getting inside, people would be aghast. But if a person is essentially excluded cognitively because they cannot understand the speech because of the severity of the hearing loss or because of the acoustics in a larger area, that is really the same thing,” she explained. “But nobody knows for sure how many people are being affected that way because it’s an invisible handicap. I’m even finding that people who are hard of hearing are almost resigned (to the fact that there are certain things they will not be able to do because of their hearing loss).” General awareness is another challenge. “Part of that awareness also means that everybody who is hard of hearing – whether they already have a hearing aid or they need a hearing aid – needs to be educated that when they do purchase a hearing aid, they should get one that has a T-coil built in,” Sterkens said. “There’s a lot of emphasis on
small hearing aids, but small hearing aids cannot always have that little wireless T-coil built in.” No one can speak to the differences between hearing with an aid and hearing with loop technology than someone who has used both. Karen Bowen, for example, has been wearing hearing aids for about seven years, but has only started using the loop technology within the last year or so. In church, she never had a big problem hearing, but at places like The Grand Opera House in Oshkosh, the loop technology made a huge difference. “It’s really remarkable at The Grand. It’s like the microphone is in the back of your head, and brain. It reminds me of the first time I listened to something with a really good set of headphones,” she said. “You’ve got your right ear and your left ear, but when everything’s working properly you hear things in the middle of your head. That’s what the loop reminds me of.” Richard Campbell used loop technology is several places, including a number of churches, the Grand and the convention center in Oshkosh. “Large rooms quite often have echoes, which make it harder to hear clearly, even with a hearing aid. But with the loop, it’s almost as if the speaker is talking right into your ear,” he said. For Gwenn Jessen, the difference is also like night and day. She recently visited a church that did not have hearing loop technology installed, and said even though her hearing loss is not very pronounced and she only wears a hearing aid in one ear, she had no idea what the priest was talking about. “I didn’t have a choice of moving up closer or trying to read his lips. I was just trying to hear with my hearing aid on and
On the Web www.hearingloop.org www.foxvalleyhearingloop.com www.loopwisconsin.com
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SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE PROFILE Name: Juliëtte Sterkens Born in the Netherlands and educated as a speech therapist, Sterkens moved to the United States and earned a master’s degree in audiology. She has been working as an audiologist since 1983. For her advocacy efforts with hearing loop technology, Sterkens was recently named the 2011 Audiologist of the Year by the Wisconsin Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Professional Association. She is also receiving the Larry Mauldin Award for Excellence in Education at the American Academy of Audiology conference in April for her work on a national level. Name: LeRoy “Max” Maxfield A 1969 graduate of West Point academy, Max spent about 11 years in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He later earned his master’s degree in mechanical engineering and worked 27 years at Oshkosh Corp. managing its testing and development. He has personally installed about 40 hearing loop systems so far.
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I couldn’t hear what he was saying, at all,” Jessen said. “A hearing loop is so worth it, especially in places like theaters or anywhere where there are a lot of distracting noises.”
Building awareness, building the market Getting people to understand the need for loops is a challenge Sterkens is up for. She also understands it’s a learning process. But as people in northeast Wisconsin become familiar with these hearing loop systems, the demand for the technology to be installed in other places becomes greater as well. “The learning and retirement group, for example, will only have meetings in places where there’s a hearing loop installed so that their members who are hard of hearing can hear well,” she said, adding that many people ask her where else they can go that has loop technology. Likewise, several people who have used it tell their kids so they can talk to their churches, etc. about getting the technology, too. “Once people hear about it, it’s an irresistible technology. It’s easy to use because all a person has to do is walk in, push on a button on their hearing aid, and hear.” Because demand is increasing, Sterkens and Max have brought on other audio companies, such as Arrow Audio in Kimberly, to help with installation. “We’re seeing a huge increase in demand, and a lot of that is due to the fact that Juliette is out there evangelizing it and getting the word out. I think she has signed on six other contractors like ourselves through the manufacturers that she
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE works with, to be trained and certified to do this,” said Kurt Maas, owner of Arrow Audio. “It’s now being specified in many buildings when they’re built. We’re currently working on the UW-Oshkosh academic building and (the loop) is the hearingassistive technology being installed in the three large lecture halls there.” Installation in a church can run between $2,500 to $6,000 – depending on the size of the church or room being outfitted. The cost also depends on the kind of loop being installed. Larger venues obviously run more money, Sterkens said, adding that price is also determined by the difficulty of installation. “But once installed in any venue, the system can accommodate any number of people with hearing aids. People can even install a loop in their home,” she said, the price for which is about $250. Despite the growing demand, Sterkens said she and Max have no plans for expanding their own business, as they have their hands full right now with the requests they already have. However, she would like to see loop technology as a service expand. “Part of my advocacy work has been geared toward getting other businesses – companies like audio companies – to recognize that this is good,” she said. “And I do want to see loop technology expand. My wish is that for any kind of new construction or renovation where there’s going to be a PA system, that audio companies recommend a hearing loop and that they learn to do hearing loop installations and add that to the services they provide. Even more than that, my goal is for
The hearing loop sign on display at Trinity Episcopal Church in Oshkosh. public places where it can be difficult for people who are hard of hearing to hear, and where they use a PA system, that they tie the PA system in with a hearing loop. Every hearing loop makes every other hearing loop more valuable and it makes every hearing aid more valuable.” Cheryl Hentz is a freelance writer from Oshkosh with more than 25 years experience. Her articles have appeared in several newspapers and magazines and cover topics including business and economic development, minority issues, family pets and animal rights, finance, politics and women’s issues. She can be reached at 920.426.4123 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Better technology = better results by Aurora Health Care
More than 500,000 total knee replacement surgeries are performed in the United States annually. That number is projected to significantly increase as our population continues to age. Total knee replacement was first performed in 1968 and the knee is the most common joint replaced. Painful arthritis is a primary reason behind this type of surgery. Approximately one million new patients are diagnosed with arthritis each year. It’s a condition affecting nearly 50 percent of people age 65 or older. Knee arthritis is typically caused by years of wear and tear, but can also be caused by fractures, torn cartilage and torn ligaments. When it comes to knee replacement surgery, accuracy is essential. This is why we use computer-assisted technology at Aurora. Through the use of cameras, sophisticated computer systems and special surgical training, orthopedic surgeons such as myself can perform knee replacements
Joel Cler, MD
with the highest degree of precision. We are able to align the bones and joints with a degree of accuracy not possible with the naked eye, resulting in better short and long-term outcomes. Computer-assisted technology, along with other minimally invasive surgical techniques, offers our joint replacement patients an increased potential for shorter hospital stays, less pain, fewer complications and a faster recovery. Total knee replacement may be considered a viable treatment option when: • someone experiences significant, long-term knee pain; • knee function and mobility has decreased; and • less invasive treatments such as physical therapy and pain killers have failed to produce acceptable results. This surgical option limits damage to the surrounding muscle, offering patients greater potential for a quicker recovery — something both patients and their em-
920.303.8700 ployers appreciate. In the hands of a skilled surgeon, knee replacement surgery using computerassisted technology provides a return to mobility and a reduction or elimination of knee pain. Joel Cler, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon at the Aurora Health Center in Oshkosh. Dr. Cler is board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and is fully trained in all aspects of orthopedic surgery. He has a special interest in computer-assisted joint replacement. “Professionally Speaking” is a promotional spot for business professionals to share their expertise with New North B2B readers. To learn more about how your business can take advantage of opportunities with Professionally Speaking, contact Carrie at 920.237.0254 or email email@example.com.
We are in an Economic Expansion. Really. by Reinhart Partners Inc. While fiscal stimulus clearly boosted the economy in its darkest days, we believe that something more permanent finally took root and that the domestic economy is currently in a self-sustaining expansion. The evidence is apparent in the data, in anecdotal information from associates and clients, and in the continued resilience of the stock market. Businesses are investing in physical plant and equipment rather than continuing to limit capital spending. The auto sector alone will have a material impact on U.S. growth in 2011, with a scheduled auto build in excess of 30 percent expected for the first quarter. Industrial production in the U.S. was up over 10 percent in December 2010 compared to one year ago. The high unemployment rate will continue to be the signature statistic of economic debate, but the steady decline in initial unemployment claims is consistent
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with the recent fall in unemployment to 9.4 percent. Housing remains a problem today; not because it is declining as it had in the past three years, but because it is not providing any lift to the economy as in previous expansions. New construction activity is weak and home prices remain stagnant, but are not declining. Like other burst bubbles, which took time and effort to clean up, participants today are very wary of returning to a market that did such deep and lasting damage. We expect housing to improve marginally in 2011, but the large overhand of distressed homeowners and their properties will restrict any meaningful improvement in the housing market in the near term. The Fed has eased aggressively, and that policy is bearing fruit with an economy that is now functioning as close to normal as any time in the last three years. Stock prices have come back strongly, consum-
920.230.6850 ers are spending, and businesses have emerged from their conservative shell to begin investing for the future. Valuations are reasonable in the stock market, and earning growth continues to move ahead. All of these are reasons for optimism in 2011. Greg Pierce, Partner and Financial Advisor at Reinhart Partners Inc., is well known and respected in the investment industry nationwide and is frequently quoted in InvestmentNews magazine and the financial section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Greg was extensively quoted in a recent article in Forbes Magazine. You can reach Greg at 920-230-6850 or firstname.lastname@example.org. “Professionally Speaking” is a promotional spot for business professionals to share their expertise with New North B2B readers.
WHO’S NEWS Incorporations New North B2B includes a monthly list of new business incorporations filed with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.
Brown County Seusy Law Office, S.C., Jane E. Seusy, 2009 E. Higgins Hill, De Pere 54115. Calliope Creative Arts LLC, Emily Anne Paul, 812 Oak St., De Pere 54115. New North Trim Inc., Patrick Upthagrove, 3400 S. Packerland Dr., De Pere 54115. Meridian Management Group LLC, Heather A. Groth, 801 Heritage Road, Ste. E, De Pere 54115. College Health Consult LLC, Barb Bloomer, 2098 Birch Creek Dr., De Pere 54115. 4K Prep Academy LLC, Jennifer Lynn Eastman, 620 N. Huron St., De Pere 54115. T-Deb Drafting and Computer Services LLC, Troy Daniel Debauche, 2360 Indy Ct., De Pere 54115. Guardian Fugitive Recovery LLC, John Harris, 414 Moon Glow Dr., De Pere 54115. Jerry’s Protective Coatings LLC, Gerald Sukowatey, 5287 County Road NN, Denmark 54208. New Mobilehome Repair Doctors LLC, Richard Antolec, N308 County Road Q, Denmark 54208. Lao Cultural Preservation Community of Brown County Inc., Somsanit Chantha Douangsy, 840 William Charles Ct., #2, Green Bay 54304. Motiontek LLC, David Charles Troup, 1400 Lombardi Ave., Ste. 30, Green Bay 54304. All American Electric LLC, David P. Dewick, 200 S. Washington St., Ste. 40, Green Bay 54301. Amber’s Concierge Services LLC, Amber Wojcik, 1131 Thrush St., Green Bay 54303. Taylor Medical LLC, Richard J. Otradovec, 1365 North Road, Ste. F, Green Bay 54313. Pigeon Computing and Consulting LLC, Kurt William Pigeon, 2524 Landler St., Green Bay 54313. GPS Aviation LLC, Green Bay Converting, Inc., Jeff Grathen, 2200 Larsen Road, Green Bay 54303. Johnson Grain LLC, Steven Keith Johnson, 1920 Evans Court, Green Bay 38 l NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011
54304. Rolefson Forestry Services LLC, John W. Rolefson, 1457 Langlade Ave., Green Bay 54304. Elite Nails Salon LLC, Somaly Thach, 305 Bay Park Square, Green Bay 54304. K9 Advantage Inspection and Detection LLC, Laurie Jean Beckers, 215 Coolidge St., Green Bay 54301. Damage Prevention Services LLC, Robert S. Gregorich, 1523 Belle Hollow Lane, Green Bay 54313. Novelle Energy LLC, Paul Nygaard, 2425 Hutson Road, Green Bay 54303. Heartland History Club Inc., Kenneth Israel, 2270 County Road QQ, Green Bay 54311. Patriot Debt Pros LLC, Andrew P. Niles, 1066 Mather St., Green Bay 54303. Alidade Engineering and Surveying LLC, Mary Jo Nash, 400 Security Blvd., Green Bay 54313. First Choice Personal Care LLC, Sifu Bournma Moua, 318 S. Broadway St., Green Bay 54303. 3, 2, 1, Done! Computer Solutions and Consulting LLC, Brian David Cota, 4215 Milltown Road, Green Bay 54313. Life Highlights Digital Media Services LLC, Brenda M. Broberg, 2530 Lineville Road, Ste. C, Green Bay 54313. Phoenix Wordshop Inc. and Aegis Entertainment Inc., Rosalind M. Greenberg, 164 Rose Lane, Green Bay 54302. JC’s Subs & More LLC, James Storzer, 1365 Velp Ave., Green Bay 54303. Brown’s Custom Metalworks LLC, Bart E. Slye, 1725 Velp Ave., Apt. 1, Green Bay 54303. Gametrade LLC, Gregg James Johnson, 288 Manette St., Green Bay 54303. Natalie’s Family Childcare LLC, Natalie Rachael Levanetz, 1012 Forest Hill Dr., Green Bay 54311. Title Town Couriers LLC, Jason John Lambrecht, 484 Morris Ave., Green Bay 54304. Howard Vision Clinic, Inc., Melanie Reimer, 2149 Velp Ave., Ste. 100, Green Bay 54303. More Than Milk Dairy Genetics LLC, Derek Jacobs, 1649 Day St., Greenleaf 54126. Champion Trenching LLC, Kevin
Servais, 5325 Doris Road, New Franken 54229. Benderz Bar LLC, Danielle J. Matuszewski, 140 W. Service Road, Oneida 54155. Electrical Design & Drafting Services LLC, Steve Wiater, 4810 Isabella Circle, Oneida 54155. ICU Independent LLC, Idie M. Herlache, 416 Patricia Lane, Wrightstown 54180.
Three Sisters Community Farm LLC, Kelly Lynn Kiefer, W3138 State Road 67, Campbellsport 53010. Goeden Towing LLC, Suzanne Marie Goeden, W5591 Deer Wood Lane, Campbellsport 53010. Gera-Lee Family Farm, LLC, Barbara Camlin, W3401 State Road 67, Campbellsport 53010. Lupe’s Trucking LLC, Guadalupe Salinas, 106 J.P. Court, Eden 53019. Schoenborn’s Jewelry & Boutique LLC, Timothy J. Schoenborn, 46 N. Main St., Fond du Lac 54935. Dreifuerst & Sons Moving & Storage LLC, Thomas P. Dreifuerst, W3404 Artesian Road, Fond du Lac 54935. Red Cabin Hospitality Inc., David E. Schuh, W2701 Fourth Street Road, Fond du Lac 54937. K&J Motorsports LLC, Kevin John White, N7071 Winnebago Dr., Fond du Lac 54935. Shear Persuasion LLC, Paul Mand, W4557 Fourth Street Road, Fond du Lac 54935. Bungalow Quilting and Yarn LLC, Judith Lynn Gauthier, 646 W. Fond du Lac St., Ripon 54971. New Look Cabinet Refacing LLC, Gary Lee Zibolsky, W10158 County Road T, Rosendale 54974.
Oconto County Logistics Moving Services Inc., Amy Marie Gruenhagen, 4786 Pine Ridge Trail, Abrams 54101.
Outagamie County Abundant Blessings Health and Wellness LLC, Maria L. Rangle, 1561 W. Prospect Ave., Appleton 54914. Domashevsky Medical LLC, Lubomyr Domashevsky, 4510 N. Knollwood Lane, Appleton 54913. Apple Creek Dental Lab LLC, Richard www.newnorthb2b.com
WHO’S NEWS L. Romenesko, D.D.S, S.C., 2510 E. Evergreen Dr., Appleton 54913. Sprangers Auto Body LLC, Glen R. Sprangers, N2429 County Road N, Appleton 54915. Northern Hotel LLC, Jasmeet Kaur, 200 N. Perkins St., Appleton 54914. Appleton Shops Online LLC, Jacqueline F. Jensen, 1801 N. Gillett St., Appleton 54914. Write Sisters Publishing Company LLC, Jane Margaret Frantz, 2509 E. Dietzen Dr., Appleton 54915. Tundra Apps LLP, Scott Huff, W5555 Sumac Lane, Appleton 54915. Secure Financial Solutions LLC, Susan Schrampfer, 2800 E. Enterprise Ave., Appleton 54913. Fired Earth Pottery LLC, W. Richardson McKinney, 217 E. Pacific St., Appleton 54911. Locotimo Trucking LLC, Timothy M. McVey, 20 S. Pine Ct., Appleton 54914. Flavor 8 Bottling LLC, David Talo, 2114 N. Meade Place, Appleton 54911. A to Z Firearms LLC, Dale Skovera, 2701 E. Winslow Ave., Appleton 54911. Lake Effect Therapeutic Massage LLC, Lesley Kay O’Kane, 4211 N. Windcross Dr., Appleton 54913. Triumph Engineers LLC, Crystal Malenofski, 4211 N. Lightning Dr., Appleton 54913. Transmodal Specialist Inc., Cherie L. Stechly, 1114 E. Sylvan Ave., Appleton 54915. Quinto Sol 2 LLC, Hector Mosqueda, 2311 W. College Ave., Appleton 54914. Alam Publishing LLC, Charles J.
Hartzheim, 800 N. Lynndale Dr., Appleton 54914. Final Round Apparel LLC, Sylvia Ahrens, 1510 N. Graceland Ave, Appleton 54911. Tiltin Windows, Doors, and More LLC, Javier B. Cardona, 1300 S. Van Dyke Road, Appleton 54914. The Stone Castle Resort & Conference Center LLC, Marjorie Young, 425 Better Way, Appleton 54915. Fox Valley Wireless LLC, James Fonseca, 209 N. Richmond St., Appleton 54911. Dynamic Simulation Solutions LLC, Gary Farthing, 3136 E. Gazebo Hill Road, Appleton 54913. Flying Frog Photography LLC, Stewart J. Garson, 227 E. Main St., Hortonville 54944. Pink Party Breast Cancer Foundation Inc., Kaitlyn Verbruggen, N1195 Fox River Road, Kaukauna 54130. Art Ed Creative Works LLC, Edwin J. Krejcie, W1812 County Road UU, Kaukauna 54130. CS Calf Raising LLC, James Ostrom, N3569 Vanden Bosch Road, Kaukauna 54130. K2 Crane Service LLC, Thomas Charles Buresh, W919 County Road CE, Kaukauna 54130. Lillge Anesthesia LLC, Sharon Lillge, W2153 Lau Road, Kaukauna 54130. Decorative Curb & Concrete LLC, Craig J. Beyer, 1423 Hillcrest Dr., Kaukauna 54130. Kratz Law Firm LLC, Kenneth R. Kratz, 702 Eisenhower Dr., Ste. A, Kimberly 54136. N.E.W. Lawncare Services LLC, Chad
Klitzke, 571 Marcella St., Kimberly 54136.
Winnebago County Gabbanelli’s Salon LLC, Melissa D. Hernandez, 300 Schindler Place, Apt. 205, Menasha 54952. Medsoft Solutions LLC, Jolie C. Bingen, 834 Green St., Menasha 54952. Sprangers Accounting Services LLC, Melisa Sprangers, 400 First St., Menasha 54952. Wisco Prints LLC, Michael J. Prell, 1056 Kalfahs St., Neenah 54956. Lineup Entertainment LLC, Kay Halbrook, 609 E. Forest Ave., Neenah 54956. Insurance Services Done Rite Inc., Jennifer Hasart, 888 E. Shady Lane, No. 203, Neenah 54956. Deanna’s Home Care LLC, Deanna Roberts, 1340 Primrose Lane, Apt. G, Neenah 54956. Airtime Entertinment LLC, Christopher Hansman, 1020 Highland Park Road, Neenah 54956. Small Scale Fitness LLC, Deanna Popp, 795 Milkweed Ct., Neenah 54956. Waste Plastic to Fuel LLC, Russell J. Dietzen, 723 Industrial Dr., Omro 54963. Habaneros Mexican LLC, Olga L. Sanchez, 5171 Jackson St., Oshkosh 54901. Malibu Auto Care LLC, Brian M. Morey, 5913 S. U.S. Highway 45, Oshkosh 54902. Purpleleo Marketing & Promotions LLC, Jennifer L. Schneider, 1406 Ohio St., Oshkosh 54902.
NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011 l 39
WHO’S NEWS FatMama’s Chicken & Barbeque, LLC, Devin N. Burks, 9 Church Ave., Oshkosh 54901. Inner Strength Counseling & Recovery LLC, Teralyn A. Sell, 627 Bay Shore Dr., Oshkosh 54901. Tower Paint & Tool Center LLC, Loren Rangeloff, 3020 Oregon St., Oshkosh 54902. Electrical Contracting Solutions, Inc., Gerardo Machado, 2515 Lamplight Ct., Oshkosh 54904. Louie’s Snow Removal & Lawn Mowing LLC, Brett Pavlak, 4494 County Road A, Oshkosh 54901. Spratto Quarter Horses Inc., Larry Spratto, 316 County Road FF, Pickett 54964.
Building Permits B2B includes a monthly list of building permits (not to include residential projects) in excess of $400,000. Agnesian Healthcare, 430 E. Division St., Fond du Lac. $12,976,000 for a build out of the fourth through sixth floors of the existing South Tower at St. Agnes Hospital for private patient care rooms. General contractor is C.D. Smith Construction Co. of Fond du Lac. January 27. Pawn America, 500 N. Westhill Blvd., town of Grand Chute. $400,000 for an 11,600-sq. ft. addition to the existing retail building. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay. February 2.
Bergstrom Automotive, 2925 N. Victory Lane, town of Grand Chute. $934,000 for a new parking lot for the vehicle dealership. Contractor is MCC Earthwork February 9. McDonald’s Corp., 1995 Menard Dr., Oshkosh. $492,000 for alterations to the existing restaurant building. Contractor is McKee Associates Inc. February 10. Kwik Trip, 913 S. Green Bay Road, Neenah. $1,527,950 for a 5,800-sq. ft. convenience store, fuel station and car wash. General contractor is Market & Johnson Inc. of Eau Claire. February 14. U.S. Oil Company, 1124 N. Broadway, Green Bay. $1,135,000 for a new marine fueling dock and associated piping. Contractor is Great Lakes Mechanical of Little Chute. February 16. Kohl’s Department Store, 913 W. Johnson St. Fond du Lac. $635,551 to replace the exterior façade and for interior renovations to the existing retail store. Contractor is Woods Construction. February 21. United Health Group, 3100 AMD Blvd., Howard. $510,000 for interior alterations to the existing office building. Contractor is RSP Architects. February 23. Bellin Memorial Hospital, 744 S. Webster Ave., Green Bay. $400,000 for interior alterations to the fifth floor catheterization
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40 l NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011
WHO’S NEWS laboratory. General contractor is IEI General Contractors of De Pere. February 25.
New businesses Accupro Business Solutions, LLC was opened by Cely Delica in Fond du Lac to provide claim filing, audit assistance and denial claims management services for doctors and other medical groups. Accupro also works with business owners in non-medical fields providing payment plan and profit recovery services. The company can be reached by calling 866.237.9170 or by going online to www.accuprobusiness.com. Jones Family Chiropractic was opened by Andrew Jones, DC at 1150 Emmers Lane in Oshkosh. The clinic can be reached by calling 920.235.0000 or online at www.ajchiro.com. Seusy Law Office, S.C. was opened by Attorney Jane Seusy at the Advance Business Center, 2701 Larsen Road in Green Bay. The law office can be reached by calling 920.246.1550.
New products/services The University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley in Menasha is offering graduate credit courses for licensed teaching professionals who already have a baccalaureate or advanced degree and are working toward satisfying the requirements of certificate renewal and salary increases. The courses are offered through partnerships with Ashland University in Ohio and Madonna University in Michigan.
Business honors Awards and honors earned by individuals are listed separately in the Who’s News section of the New North B2B. The Karma Group in Green Bay received a Best of ShowBroadcast Award as well as 12 gold and eight silver Addy Awards from the Fox River Ad Club during its recent 2011 awards program. The Best of Show award was received for a television commercial created for Bergstrom Automotive. The Karma Group received the other Addy awards for work conducted for Oshkosh Corp. Defense, Green Bay Packers, Aspirus Health System, Ecumenical Partnership for Housing and Faith Technologies, among others. The Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce presented its 2011 Rising Star Award to Chic to Chic Boutique of Appleton and its Excellence in Achievement Award to Arla Foods of Kaukauna. The Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton was recognized by readers of Wisconsin Meetings Magazine as “Best Reception Facility in Wisconsin” for 2011. Marian University in Fond du Lac presented the following honors to business and organizations during its recent Business & Industry Awards event: Economic Development Award to Mayville Engineering Company; Special Achievement Award to Fond du Lac Family YMCA and Boys & Girls Club of Fond du Lac; and its Business of the Year Award to Festival Foods.
NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011 l 41
WHO’S NEWS Miron Construction Co., Inc. in Neenah received a gold Addy Award from the Fox River Ad Club for the design and development of its Miron Experience Client Tour Gift. Coalesce, Inc. in Appleton received one gold and three silver Addy awards from the Fox River Ad Club. Coalesce received the gold award in the sales promotion campaign category for its packaging designs for a specialty soap company.
New hires ThedaCare At Home in Appleton hired Melanie Richardson as director of home care and hospice services. Richardson has 18 years experience in home care and hospice. Miron Construction Co., Inc. in Neenah hired Liz Blohm as a marketing coordinator and Dylan Lienhardt as a conceptual estimating assistant. Blohm has four years experience in the construction industry, most recently serving as a marketing coordinator for a retail build-out company in Appleton. OMNNI Associates in Appleton hired Jill Harp as a real estate specialist. Her responsibilities include managing projects and performing real estate acquisition, relocation and appraisal processes for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for the purpose of expanding or relocating highways and airports. Clarity Care of Oshkosh and Green Bay hired Terri Hansen as its vice president of home health services. NEW Cornerstone Mortgage hired Jeff Balistriere as a senior loan officer in its Green Bay office and Rick Baeten as a senior loan officer in its De Pere office. Balistriere has been a loan officer for 13 years and has worked at Flagstar Bank and GMAC Mortgage. Most recently, he owned Legacy Mortgage, which merged with Cornerstone. Baeten has been in sales for more than 25 years. He worked with home mortgages for 10 years while working at Five Star Mortgage.
Outlook Group Corp. in Neenah hired Lacie Callan as an online marketing manager. Callan previously worked as circulation manager at School Specialty Inc. in Greenville and as the brand manager of Exposures at Miles Kimball Co. in Oshkosh. Paul Davis Restoration and Remolding in Appleton hired Ken Langenhahn as director of marketing and public relations. Langenhahn has more than 25 years of customer service and public relations experience. Hoffman LLC in Appleton hired Tom Grimmer as a senior job captain and Kim Kelsey as a project architect. Grimmer has nearly 30 years of experience as an architect and project manager. Kelsey has more than10 years experience in the design and construction industry and holds her Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design accreditation. WOW Logistics in Appleton hired Scott Young as a logistics engineer. In this newly created role, Young provides customer solutions which improve productivity, increase space utilization, and drive out costs to improve profitability. Young has more than 10 years experience in the warehousing and logistics industry and earned his master black belt certification in Lean Six Sigma. Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin hired Darlene Anderson as the operations support assistant for its Shiner Center in Appleton. Rehab Alliance, LLC in Fond du Lac hired Lyndsey Lee as a certified occupational therapist assistant and Staci Polishinski as a physical therapist assistant. Dental Associates hired Clint Rau, D.D.S. and Shalini Achanti, D.D.S. as new dentists at its Green Bay dental center. Dr. Rau is a pediatric dentist and focuses on the care and treatment of children. He previously served in the U.S. Army as both a pediatric and general dentist for eight years. Dr.
42 l NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011
WHO’S NEWS Achanti’s professional interests include all aspects of restorative dentistry, root canal therapy, crown and bridge therapy and dentures. She previously practiced general dentistry in India and in group practices in Green Bay and Appleton. Guident Business Solutions, LLC in Appleton hired Carol Ihde as an accountant and business counselor. Ihde previously owned CI-Accounting in Green Bay. She specializes in accounting and bookkeeping, payroll services and QuickBooks training for small to mid-size businesses. Consolidated Construction Company in Appleton hired Dan Gassner as its field services manager. Gassner has 25 years experience in commercial construction and specializes in precast and steel materials and techniques.
Promotions Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP promoted Amanda Larson to senior accountant for the retail services team in its northeast Wisconsin office in Appleton. Larson has been with the firm since 2007 and specializes in auditing, tax preparation and tax planning.
Individual honors The Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau presented the following Fox Cities Tourism Awards for 2011: Convention Award to Dinah Mueller and Tricia Morris of Club Scrap in Greenville; Sports Award to Scott Sawinski, a section coordinator for USA Ultimate flying disc competitions; Partnership Award to the Fox Cities Sports Authority, a charitable arm affiliated with the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region; its Volunteer Award to Frank and Marilyn Ossian; and its Destination Builder Award to Lawrence University.
Matthew Stollak, assistant professor of business administration at St. Norbert College in De Pere, received the 2010 Career Achievement Award from the Green Bay Area Chapter Society for Human Resource Management. Stollak has taken his students to three National HR Games Championships, winning the championship in 2003. George Waller, senior lecturer in political science at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley in Menasha, received the 2011 Instructional Academic Staff Award for outstanding contributions to political science education among the 13 University of Wisconsin Colleges. Waller’s areas of subject expertise include American government, public policy, and campaign and election analysis. Marian University in Fond du Lac presented the following honors during its recent Business & Industry Awards event: Entrepreneur of the Year to Mark and Patty Trepanier, owners of Trepanier’s Backyard Grill in Fond du Lac, and the George Becker Business Spirit Award to David Klumpyan, a partner and past-president with Grant Thornton LLP.
Certifications Lynn Wagner, the healthcare resource specialist for Building Service Inc. in Appleton, earned the Evidence Based Design Accreditation and Certification from The Center for Health Design. Amanda Sommerfeldt, MD, the assistant medical director for Unity in Green Bay, earned the Certificate of Added Quali-
The Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce presented its 2011 Community Volunteer Award to Sarah Schneider of Schenck Business Solutions in Appleton and its Chamber Volunteer of the Year Award to Jackie Boyd of Jackie Boyd Photography in Little Chute. Jessica J. King, owner of Compass Law, S.C. in Oshkosh, was named one of three finalists for the National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award presented by the American Bar Association. King, a bankruptcy attorney and a Chapter 7 Trustee for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, served as president of the Wisconsin Young Lawyers Division in 2008 and served on the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors.
Griesser NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011 l 43
BUSINESS CALENDAR fications in Hospice and Palliative Medicine from the American Board of Family Medicine. Rick Griesser, senior information management and security consultant for Automated Records Management Systems, Inc. in De Pere, earned the Certified Secure Destruction Specialist accreditation from the National Association for Information Destruction.
Business calendar New North B2B encourages businesses and organizations looking to attract interested persons to upcoming events to send an announcement to: New North B2B, Attn: Who’s News, P.O. Box 559, Oshkosh, WI 54903. For more events, log on to www.thenewnorthevents.com. April 5 “Generational Differences in the Workplace,” a presentation through the Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Over Breakfast series, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the chamber office, 101 E. Wisconsin Ave. in Kaukauna. Speaker is Diane Welhouse of Welhouse Construction. For more information or to register, call 920.766.1616 or go online to www.heartofthevalleychamber.com. April 5 “The Dangers of Using Microsoft Excel in Your Operations,” a workshop presented by Schenck Business Solutions, 8 to 9:30 a.m. at Clarion Hotel, 200 Main St. in Green Bay. Par-
Better Business Bureau - New Members Businesses accredited through the Northeast Wisconsin office during February 2011
Above and Beyond Care Solutions LLC, Oakfield Abrams Powersports, Abrams Allied Heating & Air Conditioning, Iola Alpine Homes Inc., Weyauwega Avella’s Lawn Care Services LLC, Little Chute Bornemann Nursing Home Inc., Green Bay Chuck’s Repair LLC, Almond Club Sassafras LLC, Appleton Dentsmart, Menasha Everbreeze Resort LLC, Mountain Harv’s Electric, Kewaunee J M R Builders LLC, Brillion Jason’s Tree Service LLC, Freedom Mr Sandless Northeast Wisconsin, Neenah Pulaski Veterinary Clinic, Ltd., Pulaski Quality Pet Management LLC, Eldorado Quasius Construction Inc., Sheboygan Refine MD LLC, Menasha Schneider Community Credit Union, Green Bay Solar Heating Services LLC, Berlin Vector Marketing, Appleton Vector Marketing, Fond du Lac Vector Marketing, Green Bay Zahns’ Refrigeration LLC, Eland
44 l NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011
ticipants will be given 30 tips to help lessen exposure to fraud, reduce errors, and increase efficiencies. While there’s no cost to attend, registration is appreciated by going online to www. schencksc.com/events or calling Karie at 800.236.2246, ext. 1261. April 6 Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Coffee Connection, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at All About Life Rehabilitation Center, 115 E. Arndt St. in Fond du Lac. Cost to attend is $2. For more information or to register, call 920.921.9500 or go online to www.fdlac.com. April 6 Health Care Career Fair, 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Fox Valley Technical College, 1825 N. Bluemound Dr. in Appleton. For more details on having a booth at the event, contact Sarah at 920.424.2181 or email email@example.com. April 7 Heart of the Valley Business After Hours, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at The Marq, 3177 French Road in De Pere. For more information or to register, call 920.766.1616 or go online to www.heartofthevalleychamber.com. April 9 Executive Women’s Golf Association Spring Kick-off, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Royal Saint Patrick’s in Wrightstown. An introductory social to learn more about the organization. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the organization’s Web site at www.ewgafcgb.org. April 12 Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Sales Club, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the chamber building, 120 Jackson St. in Oshkosh. No cost to attend for chamber members. For more information or to register, call 920.303.2265. April 12 “Job Changes and Your Retirement Assets,” a seminar presented by CitizensFirst Credit Union, 6:30 p.m. at CitizensFirst, 2900 Universal St. in Oshkosh. Wealth Advisor Ross Mueller, CFP will discuss handling retirement accounts with former employers, the tax implications of changing those accounts, and consolidating funds with other retirement accounts. There’s no cost to attend this program, but registration is encouraged by calling 920.236.7040. April 12 Fond du Lac Job Fair, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Moraine Park Technical College, 235 N. National Ave. in Fond du Lac. For more information, go online to www.fdljobfair.com. April 13 Sustainability Speaker Series, presented by Fox Valley Technical College, 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the FVTC Bordini Center, 5 Systems Dr. in Appleton. Presenters include Mike Kapalko, sustainability marketing manager at SCA Tissue North America; Greg Bell, executive director of the Smart Business Forum; and
Gary Kusnierz, vice president of performance excellence for Affinity Health System. There’s no cost to attend this program, but registration is required by calling 920.831.4325 or by going online to www.fvtc.edu/sustainabilityseries. April 13 Fox Cities Community Job & Employment Resources Fair, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, 1478 Midway Road in Menasha. For more information, call Fox Valley Workforce Development Board, Inc. at 920.720.5600. April 14 Women in Management - Oshkosh chapter monthly meeting, 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. at La Sure’s Banquet Hall, 3125 S. Washburn St. in Oshkosh. Program will be “10 Myths about Investing.” For more information or to register, go online to www.wimiwi.org or contact Nicole at firstname.lastname@example.org or 920.267.0300. April 19 9th Annual Northeast Wisconsin Global Trade Conference, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay. Topics include export-import documentation and procedures, international forms of payment, Incoterms 2010, intellectual property protection, global sales management, and travel security, among others. Cost to attend is $70 if registered before April 8, and $80 after that date. To register, call 920.437.8704 or go online to www.titletown.org. April 19 “The Dangers of Using Microsoft Excel in Your Operations,” a workshop presented by Schenck Business Solutions, 8 to 9:30 a.m. at Butte des Morts Country Club, 3600 W. Prospect Ave. in Appleton. Register online at www.schencksc.com/events or call Karie at 800.236.2246, ext. 1261. April 20 “Leaderfest 2011 – Balancing Purpose & Passion,” an event for young professionals across the New North and presented by Pulse, the young professionals network of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, 333 E. College Ave. in Appleton. For additional information about the event and registration, go online to www.foxcitiesyoungprofessionals.com/. May 5 “Record Retention,” a presentation through the Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Over Breakfast series, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the chamber office, 101 E. Wisconsin Ave. in Kaukauna. Speaker is Mary Schils of Schenck Business Solutions. Register by calling 920.766.1616 or go online to www. heartofthevalleychamber.com. May 10 Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Sales Club, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the chamber building, 120 Jackson St. in Oshkosh. No cost to attend for chamber members. For more information or to register, call 920.303.2265.
BIZ FACTS Wisconsin ranked first for the percentage of highly qualified teachers in the nation. In Wisconsin, 98.6 percent of the teachers meet the standards for being “highly qualified” under the revised Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as reported in an Associated Press review.
Advertiser’s Index 44° North Advertising & Design www.fortyfournorth.com. .................. 31 Accupro Business Solutions LLC www.accuprobusiness.com. ............. 22 Aurora Health Care www.aurorahealthcare.org. ................................. 36 Aspen Coffee & Tea www.aspencoffee-tea.com................................. 34 Baker Tilly www.bakertilly.com....................................................... 31 Bank First National www.bankfirstnational.com.................................. 23 Breakthrough Solutions www.breakthroughsolutionsllc.net..................... 40 CitizensFirst Credit Union www.citizensfirst.com . ............................ 35 Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. www.dkattorneys.com..................................... 5 Delta Dental of Wisconsin www.deltadentalwi.com. .......................... 10 Dermatology Associates www.dermwisconsin.com.............................. 2 Double S&T, LLC www.loopnet.com. .............................................. 27 Fast Signs www.fastsigns.com......................................................... 8 First Business Bank www.firstbusiness.com. .................................... 16 First Weber Commercial www.firstweber.com. ................................. 48 Flyway Signs www.flywaysigns.com................................................ 27 Guident Business Solutions www.guidentbusinesssolutions.com.............. 8 Hilton Garden Inn www.oshkosh.gardeninn.com................................. 40 Keller Inc. www.kellerbuilds.com ................................................... 46 Network Health Plan www.networkhealth.com . ................................ 47 Outagamie County Regional Airport www.atwairport.com. ..... 15,30, 39 QuickStart www.quickstrt.com........................................................ 33 Reinhart Partners Inc. www.reinhart-partners.com.............................. 36 R. J. Albright Inc. www.rjalbright.com. ........................................... 29 Sadoff & Rudoy Industries www.sadoff.com................................... 12 Steinert Printing Co., Inc. www.steinertprinting.com........................... 14 Stellar Blue Web Design www.stellarbluewebdesign.com. .................... 17 Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. www.stifel.com . ......................................... 29 TEC www.tecmidwest.com. ............................................................ 37 UW-Oshkosh College of Business www.uwosh.edu/cob/graduate/info...... 9 Venture Center www.venturecenturewi.biz......................................... 26 Winnebago County Solid Waste Mgmt. www.co.winnebago.wi.us/solid-waste/container-rental-program. ..................... 43
NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011 l 45
KEY STATISTICS Per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.
$3.52 March 13 $3.55 March 6 $3.50 February 25 $3.33 Mar. 20, 2010 $2.84 March 20
Source: New North B2B observations
from February 2010
(2007 = 100)
from February 2010 February
from February 2010 (Manufacturers and trade)
from February 2010
from January 2010
Appleton Fond du Lac Green Bay Neenah Oshkosh Wisconsin
January Dec. Jan. ‘10 9.2% 9.1% 11.0% 9.4% 7.6% 8.2%
8.2% 8.0% 9.6% 8.8% 6.4% 7.0%
11.8% 12.5% 13.2% 11.9% 9.4% 10.0%
Prices for small businesses using less than 20,000 therms. Listed price is per therm.
$0.912 February $0.933 Mar. ‘10 $0.994 March
Source: Integrys Energy (Numbers above 50 mean expansion. Numbers below 50 mean contraction.)
If there are indicators you’d like to see in this space, contact our office at 920.237.0254 or email email@example.com.
FACE of Keller
I am your next door neighbor. I may have worked along side you for Rebuilding Together Fox Valley or Habitat for Humanity. I’m an active member of my church and a strong supporter of local high school athletic programs. As a Keller Project Manager, I may have built your favorite convenience store, your child care center or your office building. I am a face of Keller and I live and work in your community. I am an Employee Owner, Project Manager, and Design/Build Expert. But don’t just take me at face value, call today and experience for yourself the difference that is Keller, Inc.
Construction Excellence Since 1960
1.800.236.2534 l www.kellerbuilds.com Offices in the Fox Cities, Madison, Milwaukee & Wausau 46 l NEW NORTH B2B l APRIL 2011
Joe Project Manager Co-Owner www.newnorthb2b.com
Network Health Plan members now have more options than ever, including access to Affinity Medical Group and ThedaCare Physicians. For a complete list of providers, visit us at networkhealth.com.
RETAIL/OFFICE RETAIL OR OFFICE BUILDING FOR SALE 2308 Jackson Street Oshkosh ONLY
Possible Land Contract
Great Corner Location
FOR SALE 2.88 acres Highly Visible Frontage on Jackson Street $ 185,000 OR Purchase a 60’x249’ parcel for only $49,000
On Highway 41 exit 76 and go south just a few minutes
SPACES FOR LEASE/LAND FOR SALE Trades and Commerce Square 2909 Green Hill Court, Vinland 2,600 SF space for $1,250/Mo. OR 5,200 SF for $2,500/Mo. 2.73 acres for only $95,000
On Highway 41 exit 76 and go north 1 minute
Tom Scharpf 920.379.0744 firstname.lastname@example.org